Smithville Jones, Smithville Jones Building, Tennessee discussed on 'E & P Reports' from Editor & Publisher Magazine


The holidays but you are busy to be corrected me and it. Just that's it. You know and i think that that's not reciting journalism people forget about or don't understand is the toll it takes on. You know i mean not. I'll never forget it in tennessee. He there was a highway patrol trooper. Who was gunned down killed on the highway by two teenagers. it can send my life for months. The court hearings the digging and vitamin that. These kids were in. All of those sites tastes that you can't just stop. You know you have to get the story as i opened up this this segment here bias. I mean you may now have someone watching this or listening to this podcast saying. How dare you be the voice of this community. I don't. I hate everything you right. You see because we are not algorithms. we are publishers. But what i what. I i did look at your newspaper and i do. I do wanna compliment you. Because you know i. I looked at her lying. Obviously is that you're doing a good job reporting in a journalistic away. You're not spouting off in an opinion. You're sourcing your stories. You see. I think we gotta get to a point where we define with journalism is in our society too. When you write that story. You know you're you're you have a mission to present both sides of the argument. Correct is i mean and sometimes you have to do that when it hurts you to do it because he may disagree with the other side of the argument but then then you have your chance to spout off on your opinion page right and do your own editorials if you wish but then you clearly label it as such am i right exactly and i think that it's lost today. You needle people. Call the cable news. News in in those shows the those prime time since our opinion shows and i think they should be labelled as such you know. We label our opinions ages. This is opinion you know but the news coverage is down the middle facts. And i think that's totally getting lost in our society that might be a grant state. The that's my and okay so let's get into the meat and potatoes of your life. You own a local newspaper. You you have incan in your veins now and this is because i joke and say ian is truly a nonprofit. Not because we're legally and nonprofits my wife and i haven't taken a profit out of it yet you constantly paying down the debt and putting more money back into the product. But sometimes that's what you do but let's let's get into the. How should i say this. The fact that you're not corporate journalism this is something you take a few swipes at and you started off to discussing what happened to you in iowa corporate journalism. What does that mean to you. And how is that affecting where the industry is today and go ahead spout off you like. We will label this as opinion. If we wish we're we're we're fact. Go ahead sir. Well i think it's a little both. Actually here's where. I think it went wrong. I think you know all these mergers happened for last thirty years. You know even longer you had all these murders. These corporations bought these big cities a what they failed. I don't know if they failed to realize what they thought. But along with these big city newspaper came all of these smaller weekly publications if they all right as so so as i call them in my book the bean counter said well i don't know what to do with these new supplication a smaller wind. So what they ended up doing was getting them down to the bare minimum. They merge smaller. I have an example might booklets. It's about you know when town papers when these big corporations combined smithville jones bill the offices in smithville jones building in life there's rivalry sports rivalries school word and so you lose your readership because they think it's leans one way i just think the corporations instill don't know what to do with these smaller publications that they own and they're basically attacks right now. And that's that that penalizes in my estimation the local communities you know you know we as a small newspaper. We sponsor lily team every year. We put a float in the parade. We do those types of things you know. And i don't see the big corporations do. And and as i point now those coaches little league teams in those parade their advertisers. To and you know you can't show the community you care and then you want. What's best for me while they support you know we also were running. I think last week we had thirty two pages at fifty percent advertising. You know you at fifty percent were right at between forty forty five to fifty five. A week can advertise and people say they have the all the time. How do you do that as say well. It must merck. That's the only answer. I in the money but didn't work right reading my paper because we have good contents or the next to the good content is seen by an eyeball who may be motivated to buy a product or service. It's that simple. I mean court. Product has quality so people read it. Is that what you're saying saying. This isn't rockets to me. I learned this forty seven years ago was a reporter. Oh this is how it works. I just think corporations at lost that. And i think you know they can focus on their big city stuff. That's great. i have even got opinions on that as well too. But but they've just lost the small publications that that can be almost the heartbeat of the tau. It he do it. The right way depends. Frustration comes it depends on which of the top line items you focus on. If you're the corporation what they tended to focus on in my humble opinion was oh wow insert business. Look at that so we can keep that going can strip auditorium. Oh there's some classified revenue we can keep that going and strip at toyota and there's a local salesforce to conceal a bunch of digital services that have nothing to do with the editorial product so a force those out on the streets they can build a website or maintain social media and will strip at a to'real eventually the paper loses. Its its street cred. And that is the problem now at my question to you sir is and i asked us a lot of people. We get into these discussions. Are those brands savable. I mean we both know now. Or maybe you don't know we're we're chasing story We're trying to get comment on it. But everybody's been locked down by. Nda's that gannett is now selling off those weeklies as you know. We all know. They're selling them everybody's but we're trying to get the numbers because they're doing it on pennies on the dollar what we're hearing but no one. Will you see what so it could. That be the preamble. I'm saying could until we chase the story and get it sourced. Could that be the preamble for the bankruptcy when you went to show loss your balance sheets right. I mean this is it right now. Who's picking up those weeklies local entrepreneurs a new breed people who saw the value. Aren't those brands sable or when does the brand gets so hurt by how the corporate company treated it that you have to start a new one. That's my i mean are these wasn't it. Oh i've just just thinking what the expression that warren buffett used to say. Whenever i bought a company was a cigar that was still smoldering. Just breathe more life into it. You see what i'm saying. These brands in these towns or save.

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