PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – The newspaper business is hurting. Everyday, more people are getting their news from other sources that are faster and cheaper by getting it online. As newspapers fight for ad dollars and eyes, they are finding that it is cheaper to stop printer newspapers and go into digital distribution.
One of those newspapers is the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, that until Septemeber of 2012, had printed a paper every day for the past 175 years. Now, they print three days a week, with the rest of their news posted to their website, http://www.nola.com. With this change comes a smaller paper, a decreased staff, less news gathering, and anger among the community that now has to get its news from a website in a city that is listed as one of the United States’ least connected to the Internet.
One of those staff members is Stephanie Grace, a former columnist who unlike many of her staff members that were let go or stayed on for less pay, decided to leave voluntarily in protest to the changes.
“The owners decided to reduce the paper to printing three times a week,” says Grace. “At the same time, they fired half the staff with a drastic downsizing at the same time. It isn’t just a shift to online, it’s also a reduction in the product.”
Grace also says that many former readers are angry with the changes and weren’t ready for the change to digital.
“People weren’t ready to be the first big city to lose a newspaper, especially when people have been very supportive of the paper. Older people, poorer people have lost access to news,” Grace said.
And this trend isn’t just in New Orleans- Grace says it is happening in Cleveland, Buffalo, and even Harrisburg at the Patriot-News. Could it happen in Pittsburgh?
KDKA-AM’s Larry and John talk to Stephanie Grace about what happened at the Times-Picayune and how the changes there have ramifications for the entire print industry.