- They often had more space for feature stories and were open to running accompanying photos. Eager young journalists wrote long stories about our clients.
- Many were delivered free or at modest cost.
- Unlike a daily paper, they lived in our home for a week. The daily, once read, was recycled in anticipation of the next day's edition.
|By noebse via|
We have two weeklies in our town. One has been locally written and published for years. Its design is a little dated, but I credit the ownership for maintaining a skilled editor and writers.
The other weekly is part of a regional chain owned by a media conglomerate called Gatehouse that's swimming in red ink. It recently scuttled every staff reporter. A couple of editors now produce a set of cookie-cutter weeklies that are nearly 100% submitted content. In my community, most of the "editorial" content is submitted by the school district and town government.
Why wouldn't a PR person love the idea of a weekly running almost every news release it receives?
It's about credibility. Journalism is the fourth estate, holding government decision-makers accountable for their actions. Weekly No. 2 doesn't do that. It's an ad-filled version of the school district's newsletter. (Makes me wonder why the school district continues to produce and mail their own newsletter.)
As a PR person, I prefer the legitimacy of objective journalism. It serves as a halo for stories I generate. Weekly No. 2, now written mostly by the school and town PR managers, has no journalistic halo.
Weekly No. 2 and its sister publications no longer can boast about a commitment to objective journalism. They have ads and submitted articles. They don't serve their readers as they should, and most understand that the product has become unspectacular.
I began my career writing for a weekly paper. It paid more in mileage than in salary. But I learned how to interpret and de-cloak the balderdash of public officials. People liked to read the paper, and called to complain when they didn't receive it.
Who complains when they don't get Weekly No. 2?