It is clear that many people like the Journal-Tribune Facebook page.
We get a lot of visitors. We get plenty of views for most stories and many stories get a good number of comments and some shares.
Though people are interested, many of our posts have a common thread in the comments.
“What does it say? I can’t read it.”
Then someone else will take a picture or a screen shot and post it to our Facebook page for everyone else to read.
I do not know of any other profession where this seems acceptable to folks.
It would be inappropriate to walk in the back of McDonald’s and start passing out free hamburgers to customers.
I think we all agree that sitting in a theatre, video-taping a movie is wrong.
No one would dare go to a book store, take pictures of the pages, then stand there and hand the copies to people coming in to buy the book.
I am confounded by this.
These readers recognize the newspaper’s site is the place to learn about the town happenings. They recognize the newspaper offers a level of credibility other sites do not. Otherwise, they wouldn’t visit the site.
And more specifically, the readers recognize the story has value, otherwise they wouldn’t be asking for the details from it.
People want the news. They need the news. They just don’t want to pay for it.
Many people feel they don’t need to pay for a newspaper, they get all their news online. They never stop to consider where that news online comes from. When the legitimate news outlets are gone, readers will be left with only the fly-by-night Internet “news” sites or blogs posted by unapologetically, uneducated hacks.
The problem is, it costs something to producing something of value. There are the costs associated with just running a business. There are costs associated with the actual production of a newspaper and website. There are costs associated with paying the people who gather news.
Each of our readers has a skill and effort they take with them to their job. They expect to be paid for that. And they expect to pay for things of value.
In Marysville, the thing of value, the newspaper, costs 75 cents. There isn’t much in this world that can be purchased for less than $1. But those three quarters buy you an experienced, trained staff of reporters working to cover our courts, our county government, our city’s development, our local student athletes.
That 75 cents buys you information and pays the people who gather it for you.
If you appreciate going on line to get the news, maybe appreciate the people who put it there. The best option would be to purchase the paper or just the story. But at the very least, don’t use the site you appreciate to try to undercut it.
-Mac Cordell is a reporter for the Jorunal-Tribune.
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