Have Local Papers a Future?

thetruthsback

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
2,067
As someone who enjoys reading the local papers, I am worried falling circulation will eventually lead to the inevitable demise of the local 'rag'. Can these titles be saved?
 


Dredger

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
Messages
379
As someone who enjoys reading the local papers, I am worried falling circulation will eventually lead to the inevitable demise of the local 'rag'. Can these titles be saved?
It is all about content. The local paper in my area has pages of crap about local GAA, I couldn't care less about U14 hurling or the U12 camogie blitz and there are pages and pages of that rubbish when half a page would do. The rest of the paper mostly consists of ads, photographs of random people, about four or five pages of "in memoriam" and novenas.
 

rob

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
893
The rest of the paper mostly consists of ads, photographs of random people,.
rather than random people i think local papers have too many pics and articles of local councilors and what they do. Some would feature in several pages of the same issue. Their time would be better spent focusing on hard news but then so much of what is in them is just press releases from local organisations. They depend too much on ad revenue to be anything more than advertisers for the establishment
 

Rural

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
27,824
It is all about content. The local paper in my area has pages of crap about local GAA, I couldn't care less about U14 hurling or the U12 camogie blitz and there are pages and pages of that rubbish when half a page would do. The rest of the paper mostly consists of ads, photographs of random people, about four or five pages of "in memoriam" and novenas.
AND - reporting from the local courts, with stories of people being caught relieving themselves at 4am in town, or a row between neighbours. One wouldn't need a diploma in journalism to do that job, being able to read and write would do. Anyway, I hate that kind of gossip being reported in a paper.
 

rob

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
893
AND - reporting from the local courts, with stories of people being caught relieving themselves at 4am in town, or a row between neighbours. One wouldn't need a diploma in journalism to do that job, being able to read and write would do. Anyway, I hate that kind of gossip being reported in a paper.
they are very quick to report that but have to lick the political and are slow sometimes to print anything really critical of the status quo though they do do pretend criticisms, more like playing at journalism
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
1,742
There used to be two local freebies in our area, now there's only one, The Mayo Advertiser. The other one upset the Urban District Council who then refused to place adds in it or give any information to it so it went to the wall.

The highlight of the Mayo Advertiser is "Village Notes" by Liam Lawless, brilliant writer, absolute scream. There is frothing at the mouth from anyone older than 40 each Friday when it comes out because of the slagging Lawless gives village life and Father Fiachra. I love it. It's genius. The rest of the paper is cr*p though.
 

Rural

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
27,824
they are very quick to report that but have to lick the political and are slow sometimes to print anything really critical of the status quo though they do do pretend criticisms, more like playing at journalism
Our local paper does the odd "Opinion Piece" but it is usually a long winded piece of showing off.

I used to buy it to look at the appointments page....PAGE, more like a little corner of the page now.
 

Cobalted

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
48
For those of you slagging off the regional press and expressing how you wouldn't need a diploma in journalism to write for one, let me tell you my story.

I graduated with a first class honours in a masters in journalism from an irish university, my first few national bylines under my belt already in the Sunday Independent.

I freelanced for a year for most of the nationals and was successfully published in the Irish Times, Independent, Examiner, Sunday Independent and once in the star.

Most of the time it was extremely difficult to get paid and ultimately I wasn't making enough money. There are currently very few jobs in journalism, so that I landed one in a regional paper was a massive relief to me.

The news values in local papers are different to the nationals as all that matters is the loacal angle. the focus on sport exists both due to local interest and the fact that a massive number of locals play sports or their children do. If they are mentioned or photographed in the paper then the odds of family members buying the paper increases.

Dispite inevitable cut backs in the production staff I'm fairly confident that regional press will survive as long as a sense of community exists. The decline in the regional press in america is exasperated by the mobility of the workforce there. That Irish people tend to be more settled bodes well for regional irish titles.

I'll bore ye no more
 

Rural

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
27,824
For those of you slagging off the regional press and expressing how you wouldn't need a diploma in journalism to write for one, let me tell you my story.

I graduated with a first class honours in a masters in journalism from an irish university, my first few national bylines under my belt already in the Sunday Independent.

I freelanced for a year for most of the nationals and was successfully published in the Irish Times, Independent, Examiner, Sunday Independent and once in the star.

Most of the time it was extremely difficult to get paid and ultimately I wasn't making enough money. There are currently very few jobs in journalism, so that I landed one in a regional paper was a massive relief to me.

The news values in local papers are different to the nationals as all that matters is the loacal angle. the focus on sport exists both due to local interest and the fact that a massive number of locals play sports or their children do. If they are mentioned or photographed in the paper then the odds of family members buying the paper increases.

Dispite inevitable cut backs in the production staff I'm fairly confident that regional press will survive as long as a sense of community exists. The decline in the regional press in america is exasperated by the mobility of the workforce there. That Irish people tend to be more settled bodes well for regional irish titles.

I'll bore ye no more
Some of them are great, my better half buys it for the local sport. But, where I'm living the rest (for the most part) is lazy reporting.

You have studied journalism & are probably good at what you do. Do you not get tired of the ones who land a job because Uncle Politician got it for them. It happens here!!!!!
 

rob

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
893
There used to be two local freebies in our area, now there's only one, The Mayo Advertiser. The other one upset the Urban District Council who then refused to place adds in it or give any information to it so it went to the wall..
that is why they only go so far with any criticism.
 

rob

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
893
If they are mentioned or photographed in the paper then the odds of family members buying the paper increases.
fair comment but it is when the paper is full of politicans and photo ops then it bores me. i do not buy it but some times look at my fathers copy when i visit him
 

PrinceMax

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
1,801
There is pretty much nothing in them so I doubt if they have a future. Does anyone really want to see a load of Debs pictures or a four page advertisment pullout thingy for a new local shop? Could they not do some investigative local journalism rather than just rewording the press releases that come in?
 

baalthor

Active member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
101
rob; said:
they are very quick to report that but have to lick the political and are slow sometimes to print anything really critical of the status quo though they do do pretend criticisms, more like playing at journalism
Some of the Dublin locals would be an exception but yeah, the country ones are pathetic. The local paper here might as well be the in-house PR journal for a certain financially troubled cement/hotels/insurance conglomerate ...
 

Christel

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
659
There is pretty much nothing in them so I doubt if they have a future. Does anyone really want to see a load of Debs pictures or a four page advertisment pullout thingy for a new local shop? Could they not do some investigative local journalism rather than just rewording the press releases that come in?
I do buy my local paper regularly. I agree most in it is uninteresting and irrelevant. But I don't want to miss the bits of information that sometimes is there, now and then.

Local papers seem to be the only media that inform about local politics. That's important.

However the way they do it is horrible.

I often wondered if local politics would be different with different kinds of local papers...

I also think many people don't read the local papers. That's again a pity, because that makes them going on in the same way for decades. The same kind of articles for the same kind of readers, again and again and again.

I notice my local paper is somewhat more open to letters since the bust, by the way.
 

thetruthsback

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
2,067
There is pretty much nothing in them so I doubt if they have a future. Does anyone really want to see a load of Debs pictures or a four page advertisment pullout thingy for a new local shop? Could they not do some investigative local journalism rather than just rewording the press releases that come in?

I agree to a point. However, with litigation regional papers are afraid to print certain stories. I do think local papers can pursue local issues: lack of schools, crime, unemployment, etc etc. By the way, I notice a lot of so called professional journalists simply publishing press releases in national papers too and claim as their own, so much for hard nose journalists. These free papers are a disaster, 'pure rubbish'. Lack of resources also impinge on the quality of many of the regional titles.
 

Cobalted

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
48
@twin Towers
Nice snide comment there... that would be called a phonetic colloquialism. It's a literary device.

As for you.

Being a pedant places you on a mental health spectrum.

@Rural

I have to say in the paper I write for there is no one of political lineage and I am the closest thing resembling a local. We even have one american journalist.
 

johntrenchard

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 7, 2009
Messages
991
The British "EU Referendum" blog had a post on local newspapers recently, which was quite interesting..

EU Referendum: Look in the archives Mr Johnston
Compare and contrast the edition of The Yorkshire Post for 1 October 1940. You will see over 20 substantive stories on just the front page. The publishers are rationed to just six pages (something for our green "friends" to think about) but in those there is more information than you will get in a week's supply of the current newspaper.
And this is the Yorkshire Post , a local newspaper, in 1940:



Have to admit - he does have a point.
 

Rural

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
27,824
The local radio station around here is not much better. I replied to a neighbour many years ago when he asked "why do you not listen to the local radio station", I said "because I would learn nothing". It has an RC sway, which reminds me of radio in 1970's Ireland. We've grown up.
 

Rural

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
27,824
@twin Towers
Nice snide comment there... that would be called a phonetic colloquialism. It's a literary device.

As for you.

Being a pedant places you on a mental health spectrum.

@Rural

I have to say in the paper I write for there is no one of political lineage and I am the closest thing resembling a local. We even have one american journalist.


At ME!! Why, I never mentioned you having lineage with politics, read the whole post, I just mentioned that it was usual around here, in this particular place and not everywhere. I did say that I didn't include you in what I was saying, I just happen to know that the local paper has jobs for the "unqualified" boys, does that not make a hardworking qualified person mad.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top