I have always loved to read a newspaper. No matter where I traveled, I would pick up the local newspaper to get a pulse on community and local government issues.
I read with interest the ARGUS LEADER's announcement from Publisher Randall Beck that the shift to their new subscription model is based on the principle - The high-quality content created by our exceptional journalists informs, inspires and entertains in ways nobody else can match. And our pledge, in this fast-paced world, is to deliver that powerful journalism seamlessly across multiple platforms — web, mobile, tablet and your choice of print frequency.
The backbone of this effort, months in the making, has been a rethinking of, and reinvestment in, our news coverage — not only the issues we cover, but when, how and where we cover them.
I guess the backbone of the effort to move towards this change of rethinking and reinventing in news coverage included the forced furloughs of the very reporters who write the news and are the backbone of any newspaper.
As I have said before, I understand the shift to charging for digital access. Newspapers across the country have to rethink and retool their business model. However, when I pay for digital access, I expect quality reporting and extensive news coverage. I subscribe to various news sources and enjoy the ability to get digital access on my iPad and iPhone on the go. But I subscribe with choice based on value on the news content of the subscription.
Publisher Beck goes on to say: Ours, however, is unique in the industry because it begins with the fact that our newsroom — representing the largest and best team of journalists in the state and region — produces the best local content that is delivered where, how and when you want it. Nobody else does that.
The very news Publisher Beck is talking about must be different and more compelling than what I can get from local television news, city's website, and other national news sources. Why not highlight the paper's political reporter, Jonathan Ellis or local government reporter Megan Luther. Sports Editor Stu Whitney's perspective on the local scene is not going to cut it for me. He's the best the paper has to offer in the new change?
Time will tell if the Argus Leader Media Publisher and President Beck and Executive Editor Maricarrol Kueter will make good on the promise to provide the valuable watchdog journalism and investigative reporting that you have come to expect.
I hope they provide the reading public a grace period to see if, in fact, they are capable of producing "valuable watchdog journalism" and "investigative reporting." Let's see if that 800 customer service number has received attention as well since it has been a past exercise in futility and frustration. I am not ready to plunk down my credit card just yet.