Free subscriptions may not last

The San Jose Mercury News is the main newspaper of Silicon Valley and according to a news today, its subscription has been falling. Circulation has been falling for other newspapers as well. The reasons cited are competition from Internet and Cable TV. But what is not mentioned is that most of these newspapers are pathetic in quality. You can flip through an issue of Mercury News and find that there is nothing important to read, especially for people who are interested in knowing events happening outside Santa Clara County. The pages are filled with advertisements with some news thrown in as fillers. One of the major reasons why most people buy the newspaper is due to the discount Pizza and grocery coupons they insert in the weekend editions.
You may not get indepth coverage of world issues in Mercury News, but they do have some columns which appeal to people living here. My favourites are Mr. Roadshow and Action Line. The Mercury News staff also has two excellent blogs, Silicon Beat and Good Morning Silicon Valley for people whose lives revolve around technology.
One day they will realize that they are not making money off the print edition and need to charge people for the online edition, like how the New York Times realized

4 thoughts on “Free subscriptions may not last

  1. My father, when he was here, could not believe that we are throwing the newspapers away. He was of the opinion that if it was India, the Sunday paper alone would fetch a couple of rupees.

  2. When I first came in to the Bay Area several years ago, I used to subscribe to the SF Chronicle (before news via the internet made it unnecessary) – I was very dismayed that there was hardly any news of events outside SF/Bay Area. I vented this disappointment out with a Chinese-American collegue of mine and her response was stunning: She said, “Why would I want to know about these external things? I am more interested to know what’s happenning around me and around my community”.
    The contrast was unmistakable – in India, one of the most popular TV programs was The World This Week (early-mid 90’s) – here most news programs covered only local news (eg: “Local schools threatened with closure”).
    After the Afghan and Iraq wars have started, though, I am seeing much more “World News” – except that the news relates to France dissing US, UK supporting US, UN is crappy etc … but nevertheless, “World News”

  3. Sometimes school children get you to subscribe to the newspaper. Even if you do with the aim of helping them, disposing this newspaper is a major problem, especially the Sunday edition. If they stopped the print edition, atleast many trees would be saved. If you read these newspapers, you will understand why most Americans don’t know where Iraq or Afghanistan is.

  4. Don’t forget Scott Herhold and Dan Snyder. Snyder, I think, has a good grasp on foreign policy. Herhold used to be on the business pages, but is a muckraker on the local pages now. Takes on the local pols with relish. Gutsy guy.

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