Saturday, August 23, 2014

New League City newspaper

Actually it is touted as a League City - Kemah newspaper (paywalled), but given that LC's population is forty-seven times that of Kemah (2012 Census per Google), I'm betting (hoping?) that it will be weighted in favor of LC despite Kemah's outsized local economic impact.
For this one, apparently you won't have to subscribe - the first issue is scheduled to be delivered into mailboxes (? an interesting approach unlike those that currently prevail) on August 29, 2014.  The paper will be a project of Galveston County Daily News.    
I have long wailed about the abysmal state of local reporting; in fact, I have a blog post category devoted to that subject.
This dearth of coverage is not a local phenomenon but rather reflects the overall decline in conventional newspapers as a social institution.  This is the latest version of Dr. Mark J. Perry's famous newspaper free-fall chart, courtesy of this Carpe Diem post.  It's worth reading his analysis if you have any interest in what's happening with the industry.  And also this HuffPost article with an embedded slide show titled "Top 10 Dying Industries".

Update:  Amusingly, seven days after I posted this diagram, GCDN ran a story titled "Newspapers are still here and still making money" (paywalled money).     
I have no idea how the new paper will be structured and what degree of quality will characterize it.  When I read that it will be published only once a month, I immediately became concerned that it will largely amount to a content-recycling effort.   In other words, a vehicle by which paying subscribers will receive paywalled content in real time via GCDN, and non-paying subscribers will later receive that same content for free after its shelf life has effectively expired.  But do you know what??  Even that much would be a darned sight better than what we've got right now, where the majority of our population doesn't have good opportunities to receive local news at all.

I am a bit perplexed, however, at GCDN's initial positioning statements, which include the following:  "While not always sexy, keeping residents informed about taxes, property values and the decisions by locally elected officials is critical to a healthy community."  Geez, guys, be careful not to fall all over yourselves with your marketing exuberance!  With promotional representations like that, who needs enemies?!

Anyway, stay tuned for more analysis on this one.
It remains to be seen what that is.  

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