January 08, 2024


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I heard a deep-pocketed local investor put money into the Pacifica Tribune to save it.

One website for the Pacifica Tribune, the Half Moon Bay Review, and Coastside magazine is coming. It's in development now. There will be tabs for each of the three publications on one page. In addition, both the Tribune and the Review now email daily newsletters to subscribers.

I haven't renewed my subscription for two reasons:

1. There is a lot of duplicate postings between the two papers. Yet one would have to buy two subscriptions , one for the Trib and one for the Review at the new and higher price.

2. There isn't a whole lot of journalism going on at these papers, they're more of a bulletin board.

I've also had comments I've left on articles not posted, and at least one letter to the editor in which words were changed, and the former editor denied doing so, blaming the copy editor!

Despite all of that, I would subscribe if there were access to both Web sites for the $99 price.

Could there be a discount rate for seniors? Most seniors just don't have a lot of extra cash!

Since local ownership happened, I've been an enthusiastic subscriber, digital only. To go from $55 per year to $99 per year is too much of a jump for our budget. I'm in my mid 60s headed to retirement, my husband is retired. Besides us geriatrics, we have three geriatric pets. All of us need dental work.

Regretfully will not renew.

Join what? What is your potentially sustainable financial model? The online outlet for local journalism? Support the further development of digidiots? For me, this reeks of the abject overall failure of purely online social media to provide reliable information.

Then join us, Carl. It's going to take all hands on deck to promote and support local journalism, and we need every involved citizen like you to get it done.

Yes, but. My original statement that the company doesn't know how to make a go of it stands. Also my charge that the digital divide separates many, and not just older people, from the informational output of reliable (objective, comprehensive) journalistic sources. That results in the sort of damaging inequity that comes about when some groups are separated from the information, analysis, and discussions of information that other groups are dealing with. Consider, for example, the more rural states (with their disproportionate power in the electoral college).

It's not an admission that CNGI doesn't know how to make a go of printed media, it's that no local weekly newspapers can make a go of printed media. All newspapers either lose money on print or they have to charge enormous amounts of money for print subscriptions. The cost of print and distribution and everything else that goes into the production of a print newspaper has gone way up. Almost all local weeklies are digital only – they have to be in order to survive. Even major dailies are struggling with the cost of print. It pains me that we have to increase the digital divide – although digital does have some news benefits that weekly print can never have such as breaking news alerts, video, etc. – but older people are the only ones who read print newspapers any more (because they've been doing it since before the internet). Many people now get their news (and misinformation) in social media posts on their phones. The internet has changed everything. I'm not happy about some of those things, but we can't hold back the sea or the red ink that comes with continuing to print and deliver local weekly newspapers.

It's not brave. It's an obliquely retiring admission the company doesn't know how to make a go of printed media. Perhaps a bit better for the environment but a bit worse for overall equity in that it doesn't bridge the ever-widening digital and educational divides. I'll spare you my extensive packaged rant about the overall unreliability and superficiality of online information and discussion, and openly admit that I'm jamming out a point of view digitally at this very moment.

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