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Does It Hurt The Poor To Stop Publishing A Daily Paper?

Does It Hurt The Poor To Stop Publishing A Daily Paper?

This week Colorlines reported that Advanced Publications cutting daily publication of the New Orleans’ Times-Picayune newspaper down to three days a week and shifting an emphasis to online coverage. This gives New Orleans the dubious distinction of being the largest city without a daily newspaper.

This may sound like nothing more than the inevitable extinction of print media. And perhaps there’s some truth to that. But in New Orleans over 1/4 of the residents do not have Internet access at home, which means they will no longer have readily available reports on current events. And New Orleans is not the only city making such moves. The New York Times reported on similar downsizing initiatives in Alabama  where The Birmingham News, The Press-Register of Mobile and The Hunstville Times will also move to a three-day-a-week print schedule.

Imagine the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster with no daily print coverage? In a world of smart phones and tablets that may not seem like a big deal because, online, information is always accessible. That is, if you have access the online world.

Like Louisiana, Alabama has pockets of deep poverty where that kind of access is not a given. And do your grandparents get their news online? Online coverage can be a powerful democratic tool, but in order to keep it democratic we must first make sure there is equal access to it. And how are the libraries doing in your community? For those who do not have internet access at home, public libraries can be a lifeline to the digital world. Yet with libraries the target of slash-and-burn conservative budgets, access to the internet that way isn’t a given.

Denying access to information while simultaneously working to restrict voting rights sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?

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Photo from arvindgrover via flickr.

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59 comments

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4:11PM PST on Feb 12, 2013

hmmm

3:18PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

we need newspapers. all people do not have internet at home or a way to get to a library to get on the internet. the same people often do not have a tv or can afford cable. newspapers are important. just as books are.

8:58PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

I hate it when I hit add comment before I'm ready. :-)

What makes me sick is that people will believe their lies no matter how outrageous. Whatever anyone on Fox news says will be taken as gospel. And if enough folks have short term memory problems with what the GOP did before they settled on Romney then they might very well win.

It will be a sorry day when money is all it takes to own the country. Then we're really screwed.

8:51PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

What makes me sick is that people will believe their lies no matter how outrageous. Whatever anyone on Fox news

8:28PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

I'm stealing Rethuglican, I LOVE it. I did not think they could sink any lower. Boy, was I wrong, doing anything they can that makes them think they will win. It makes me SICK to my stomach

9:28PM PDT on May 30, 2012

The biggest problem with using the Internet for a news source is people tend to find the news feeds that tell them what they already believe. Most news feeds are pretty openly biased and push one point of view, backing it up with any facts they want.

If you do have online access and want a good news source check out Aljazeer or the BBC.

6:08AM PDT on May 30, 2012

While we have Internet access, my main source of the news is the daily newspaper. I don't read the news on the Internet simply because I don't have time to be online all day, and I refuse to watch the TV news because they tease you with bits about the good news and then make you sit through a ton of bad news (murders, rapes, wars, Rethuglican mudslinging, etc.) or crap you don't give a rat's ass (such as "celebrities" and their happenings) about in order to get to the good news! For poor people who don't have cable TV or Internet access, the daily newspaper is their ONLY source of news short of the neighborhood rumor mill, and how often have you heard news about anything other than the neighbors' activities in the rumor mill? Good luck hearing about local, state, or national news there!

Go to the library? Fat chance. The way funding is being cut for programs such as libraries (no thanks to the GOPTP's idea of budget cuts), and the way that there can be little or no public transportation available in some areas, the poor would be lucky to get anywhere NEAR a library!

Keep the daily newspaper alive!

7:09AM PDT on May 29, 2012

Thanks

3:32PM PDT on May 28, 2012

As a New Orleanian, I can attest that the Times-Picayune has the highest percentage of readership of any American newspaper. I have mine delivered and have to get up at 5:00 am every day (including Saturday and Sunday) to keep it from disappearing off my porch.
The Times-Picayune saved New Orleans after Katrina--the staff was unbelievably heroic and kept on despite the severe flooding of their own building. They have done so much for this city.
It is time for us to save the Times-Picayune. There is a website devoted to doing that:
www.savethepicayune.com
Please support this incredible award-winning paper.

2:03PM PDT on May 28, 2012

NOTED

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