Newspapers… Just Papers With Old News Now?

A Darker View blogged about his disappointment recently picking up Tuesdays West Hawaii Tribune.

In it he states:

“…In the entire newspaper there were just four or five feature articles worth reading, and much of the local material had been previously well covered by online sources, including the local blogs…”

Most of my readers know that I’m not a big fan of newspapers.  Some may even mistake my disgust for newspapers for a dislike for the brilliant writers that work for them.

There is a big difference between the people who write for them, and the institutions that publish them.  I’m not going to lie and pretend that I know how the industry works, because I don’t.  But there are some blatantly obvious things about newspapers that I just don’t like.

For the most part, I feel that the writers are restricted from saying what they really want to say about on issues.  Many columnists have even been fired for doing so.

But the one thing that really bothers me most about newspapers… is the fact the paper copy is NOT NEWS!

If a paper knows about something and has the ability to publish it online as soon as they hear about something, then they should do that.  West Hawaii Today and Hawaii Tribune very rarely, if ever will have a breaking newstory on their website.

Yes, much of the Honolulu Advertisers “Breaking News” is AP content driven breaking news, but many times you do see “Breaking” local news being at least given to their customers in the online version of the paper.

If the locally run Stephens papers actually broke local news online when they found out about the news, they probably wouldn’t have a paper at all.

So if they are then waiting until they can print the news in the next day’s paper… is it really news?

What is news?  News to one person can be completely different to another person.  Some people could care less about the news and would just rather read other parts of the paper.  I guess that’s why the Sports sections, Features, and Classifieds are some of the first places I turn to on the occasion that I do pick up a paper.

We have some great journalists here on the island and it sucks that they have to make a living.   I bet sometimes they wish they could just release some of the information they have as soon as they get it… but are stifled by the fact that they have to wait for the print version to come out already.

Are newspapers just papers with old news now?  A quick look at today’s print copy, on the front page alone I see three things that I’ve already blogged about in one fashion or another.

Once again, not knocking any of the fine journalist we have on this island, state or nation… Just knocking the institutions that keep us, the general public, uninformed until they can make their nickle getting that print version out with their advertisements.

I’d also assume this is why they (Big Island papers) don’t publish their online versions until so late in the day… just another attempt to hold back news so that they can attempt to make people p/u a paper copy.

And don’t even get me started on this new Twitter revolution taking over the world!


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