Another example of why newspapers are losing readership

We left the San Francisco Chronicle behind when we moved to Nevada County in 2000, mainly because the paper they delivered was the sheep herder edition–distributed to the farthest reaches of their circulation area.

Hard to satisfy

Just the early news, boys

Because the paper went to press so early, the news section consisted of wire service feature stories and warmed over news from yesterday’s final edition. Even worse, the sports section didn’t include last night’s scores or game stories.

We’ve been subscribers to the Sacramento Bee since then, but a series of staff cutbacks and consolidations has meant a smaller and less timely paper. This is particularly evident in the sports section of the edition we get, which carries just the scores of games played in the East. Monday’s national championship game between Alabama and Clemson was a good example: The game ended about 9:30 p.m. our time, but the edition of the Bee we got just carried a feature story about how much money the two football programs generate.

Today’s edition of The Union had a picture and game story. What makes this worth mentioning is that The Bee prints The Union in Sacramento, then puts it on truck for delivery to Grass Valley. You would think The Bee’s theoretically later deadlines would give them time to get the scores in my edition.

Apparently not. I’m guessing my edition goes to press early so they can clear the decks to print The Union, which I presume is done at a profit. But that’s how newspapers operate these days: Lower quality at a higher price.

The Bee sends me a steady stream of annoying emails, trying to become my buddy. You want to keep me happy? Give me a better newspaper.

This entry was posted in Media, The Sacramento Bee, The Union newspaper, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Another example of why newspapers are losing readership

  1. John Lippiatt says:

    Do the Bee and the Union have common ownership?

    • The papers are owned by different companies. The Union decided a couple of years ago to save some money by shutting down its own printing operation and farming out the work. Thanks to a shrinkage in its circulation area and a steady decline in advertising and readership, The Bee had excess printing capacity that it basically sold to The Union. Both papers have suffered in their ability to report late-breaking news.

    • John Lippiatt says:

      My interest is censorship not logistics. I live in Lake Wildwood where there is no bad news. Things like the last General Manager embezzling, three million more for Golfhou$e construction than members OK’d (Talk about club envy with your Lake of the Pines), Tens of thousands of dollars of NID water lost due to culvert construction and meddling in elections go unreported.
      As the Lake Wildwood Association buys all the ink for the Wildwood “Dependent” does the Union’s incestuous relationship with it cause this vacuum?
      Up to the minute sports scores are not newsprint’s bailiwick; thorough, in-depth reporting is. I though the Bee only published the King’s score when they win; in any case, printing only the good news is the most insidious fake news.

    • I agree that there are more important things than ball scores and that it’s unrealistic to expect newspapers to match the Internet in timeliness, but The Bee doesn’t even try on the stories that should be easy for them. Take last Friday: The appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Davis was cancelled at 6:30 p.m. because of security issues, but The Bee didn’t have a word about it in the Saturday edition we got. It was all over page one on Sunday. Maybe The Bee needs a new motto: “Yesterday’s News Tomorrow.”

      I’ve never seen the Wildwood Independent so I can’t comment on the quality of journalism, but if it’s anything like the LOP News, it’s full of puffery and some semi-useful information. But the News does have a sleep aid for insomniacs: A monthly column by Supervisor Ed Scofield.

      If you think you have some real news at Lake Wildwood that needs to be reported, you should contact Brian Hamilton, editor of The Union.

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