Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Letter to the Editor: Newspapers' Doom

The Durham Herald Sun is running a part of my letter to the editor today. Although, it is about newspapers in my neck of the woods, it probably applies to your city too. The original letter is below:

When I recently read Gary Gaddy's column and editor Bob Ashley's response regarding the pending doom of newspapers like the Herald Sun, I was reminded of Bill Clinton's description of an ideologue. Clinton said when others see the futility of digging a deeper ditch the ideologue says give me a bigger shovel.

So it is with newspapers and their reluctance to change.

Gaddy is correct in his assessment that traditional media are quickly sinking into the Dead Sea of irrelevancy. Unfortunately, instead of patching the hole in the boat the editors are more than happy to go down with the ship.

Newspapers are big on tradition and you stand a better chance of finding a cure for the swine flu than getting them to change their antiquated methods of operations.

Although, Ashley sings the praises of the Herald Sun's attempt at new media , what the paper needs is new ideas not new aps.

Gaddy mentions that newspaper readers eventually age and die off but unfortunately old ideas are immortal. As long as there is one elderly person left reading the Herald Sun over his Sunday morning Bojangles biscuit and coffee, it will be business as usual.

The power is in the pen; a power that newspaper executives aren't willing to give up. To borrow from the the uncompromising words of Charleton Heston, in order to get the pen from an editor you're gonna have to pry it from his cold dead hands.