No pot shots here

I guess I won’t make any jokes the next time lightning hits the Mesabi Daily News printing plant.

But in this unfortunate weather-related event there was a silver lining for those of us who passionately believe in the future of newspapers, particularly local community newspapers.

To those who have taken ridiculous pot shots speaking of the death of newspapers — especially those bloggers and television people who often rely on newspapers for their stories, commentaries or story ideas — you should have been at the MDN office Wednesday.

The calls put an exclamation mark on the importance of newspapers … the importance of the MDN. Wednesday was not the same for our subscribers because they did not have their morning Mesabi Daily News. They wanted to pick up and hold and read and enjoy their daily newspaper.

Newspapers dying? No way!

It is true that people who don’t use the internet will seek out newspapers with great fervor. Because of our older demographics, the Iron Range has plenty of such readers. For now. Furthermore, news organizations monitoring the activities of large and small communities, whether its the Mesabi Daily News, Hibbing Daily Tribune or others, are vitally important. The whole problem here is that the youngest generation of new readers is using the internet to read newspapers, for free. That’s a losing business model. Am I wrong? I’d like to think so because I love paper and ink newspapers, too. However, I received e-mails and comments from several newspaper readers who found out from lil’ ol’ me why they didn’t get their paper yesterday. That’s not good.


  1. I’m one of those who has stopped reading paper newspapers and chooses to get most of my newspaper type news from the ‘net. I do read the three (!) weekly real newspapers we have in this part of St. Louis Co. They vary in quality, but there is no other place to get the local announcements of events. One of them has excellent articles about nature.

    I think that the MDN is a decent daily newspaper, certainly better than the daily where my mom lives, which is a bigger small city. I enjoyed it when I got it, but I just spent way too much time reading it. I read stuff that really didn’t matter to me, but it was there. There are things I miss, so I pick up the paper when I see one in a restaurant, etc. just to see how I feel about it.

    I like to read more international news and topic-specific news than was available in the MDN and I can get that from the ‘net using both a My Yahoo page, Google Alerts, and Google News for the countries and/or topics I’m interested in. Plus, MDN sends me a couple of emails per day with headlines.

    Besides that, I listen to MPR and I catch the local news on TV and also I look at some of the news channels on TV. I am somewhat of a news junkie. When it starts to weigh me down, I skip the news for a couple of days.

    MPR is the best because I can do other things while I listen, but they don’t do much with local news.

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