Thursday, April 30, 2009

Something to be figured out when time allows

Yesterday I wrote a story about the Special Election to fill the unexpired term on Bobby Parham's state House seat. The one thing that shocked me most wasn't that no one was stepping up to face Rusty Kidd in a special election, but that several of the people I had talked to had no idea that Parham had resigned his seat in the House.
My problem is that the majority of the people I called were elected officials or people who are involved in local politics. I know that newspapers are steadily losing readers, but in a media market like Milledgeville there just aren't that many options to learn about whats going on in Milledgeville. Sure, you can wait two or three months and read about it in the Macon Telegraph, but we usually have it within a week or so of it happening. What gives?
Maybe the problem is worse than we initially thought and it's not just younger consumers who are getting off the newspaper bandwagon?
In a City Council meeting this week one of the alderman asked whether or not the city was going to put something about the proposed water/sewer rate increases in the paper. Buddy... I've written about it twice. A third time once papers hit the stands the next morning. And guess what, I'll be writing about it again this weekend.
I see it as cutting off the slack when the next generation decides to bathe itself in the cathode ray oblivion. But to know that people who are written about regularly in the paper are not even bothering to read what we write about them never even occurred to me.
I feel like I've woken up on the Planet of the Apes or something.

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