Clark Gable and Doris Day in “Teacher’s Pet”–never mind journalism school, watch this movie instead!
The New York Fake Nooze Times executive editor predicts virtually all local newspapers will be extinct in five years (https://www.fastcompany.com/90353613/nyts-dean-baquet-most-local-newspapers-will-die-in-5-years).
Predicting “the death of local news,” the editor said, “Their economic model is gone.” Newspapers generally survive by selling space to advertisers. Subscriptions are never more than a rather small piece of any newspaper’s income. But the advertising revenue, the editor said, “continues to plummet.”
And by and by, “I don’t know what the model is for covering the school boards in Newark, New Jersey…”
If you don’t know that, maybe you shouldn’t be an editor.
I was an editor. And a reporter. I know how to cover school boards. You have to cover them in such a way that people will read the reports; and then local advertisers, when they become convinced that the people who do business with them are reading your paper, will want to buy ad space in your paper.
You need reporters who are knowledgeable, honest, competent, and fair–ditto editors who fit that description. They need to produce news which people can trust–not just the readers, but the people who are making the local news: school boards, town councils, out-of-power politicians, the administrator who runs the sewage treatment plant. Sources won’t answer questions honestly, may not answer them at all, if they think the reporter will treat them unfairly. You’d be amazed what people will tell you, if they’re convinced you’re fair.
And getting the facts is never as easy as it looks. That’s why you need intelligent people, not just brain-dead left-wing ideologues, staffing your newspaper. Not numbskulls who learned all about Social Justice and Climbit Change in college.
I worked for a very successful local weekly newspaper.
And the one guy we got from a hoity-toity school of journalism couldn’t report worth a damn, and had to be let go. Give me sharp-as-tacks middle-aged women who live in the town they cover, and always know who to talk to. Give me nosy high school kids who will ask the questions I tell them to ask, and then ask more.
Give me these, and my local newspaper will not go extinct. It’ll report the news. And people will know it really is the news, and not just some cod-headed Social Justice Warrior spouting ignorance.