From the Bitch & Moan Files
Alligator tears from Brian Tierney:
(You know what they say about fools and money, Brian,...)
Everyone is talking about the great stories in our newspapers, whether it's our recent series on the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Postal Service, coverage of the Eagles' quarterback controversy, or minute-by-minute dispatches from the Fumo and Fort Dix Five trials on Philly.com.
But some aren't just talking about the great stories in The Inquirer and XXXXX XXXX. They're also asking a question: Are our papers going to make it?
(I hope so. My bird and fishmongers throughout the Delaware Valley are counting on it)
It's no wonder.
The news about newspapers has been deeply distressing.
The Tribune Co. has filed for bankruptcy. Detroit's daily papers are about to cut four days a week of home delivery. And we've had to make some painful cuts, too, to remain profitable - including selective layoffs in recent weeks.
(Obviously Chris "America Sucks" Satullo and and Trudy "America Can't Win" Rubin weren't high on that layoff list)
But there's more to the story here in Philadelphia. And given all the bad news and anxious questions, it's time to tell some of the rest of the story.
What makes our Philadelphia newspapers different? First and foremost, we've invested heavily in the quality of our journalism. And we've been rewarded for it with faithful readership, steady growth and profitability.
(What planet are you on, Brian?? You almost missed a loan payment in October!)
About 1.2 million people physically pick up and read our papers every day. That audience compares favorably to those of many national news outlets, and it dwarfs the reach of other local media. And, contrary to conventional wisdom, 30 percent of our readers - more than 300,000 - are young people, between 18 and 34.
Our advertisers keep telling us that nothing moves their products like an ad in our newspapers.
(An ad in ANY newspaper moves products. Next,...)
Most important, it's the fuel that powers our democracy, providing citizens with the facts they need to make informed decisions in their daily lives.
(And commenter tr88 hits it on the head: "A free press keeps us free, a biased press misinforms and does just the opposite.")
Some may lament, "Oh, journalism has changed, and I like newspapers the way they were 25 years ago." All I can measure is how we compare to June 30, 2006, the day our local investor group took over, and I can say with certainty that our papers are better, and the research shows that, by a margin of 5-1, you agree.
(I didn't get polled. Must be the same pollsters at CeeNoNews who asked Democrats if they were going to vote for Obama or McCain.)
Not only do we continue to provide outstanding coverage of breaking news, politics, sports and culture, but we also keep coming up with inventive ways to deliver it. From videos to blogs to live chats with reporters, we're inviting you into the conversation and giving you access to the amazing journalists who make our newspapers not just relevant, but also indispensable.
Our original news reporting sets the table for the entire region's news output, much of which derives from the work we do. No other news medium - television, radio or Web - can compare to the daily coverage produced by our approximately 400 journalists. Overall, more than 3,000 men and women sell the ads, run the presses, drive the trucks, and make the papers possible.
This is a tremendous responsibility, and we take it seriously. Without The Inquirer and XXXXX XXXX, who would be exposing corruption and incompetence, celebrating athletic and artistic accomplishments, chronicling business successes and failures, and covering our city and region so thoroughly?
Among the hundreds of skilled journalists doing that is Pulitzer Prize winner Mike Vitez, one of a dozen on staff. His moving stories about people without health insurance have cast a bright, unforgiving light on our deeply flawed health-care system - and prompted government agencies to help people who had been struggling alone.
You can't get that kind of 360-degree view from any other news source in the region.
In today's economic climate, we all have to stick with what we do best. In our case, that's delivering comprehensive, uncompromising coverage of the news that hits close to home. Our journalists know what matters to your community because it's their community, too. They're driven by what compels you to pick up our paper every day: the need to understand this region and its people.
Much the same can be said of the homegrown group of investors who returned this paper to local control 21/2 years ago, proudly making it the largest locally owned paper in America.
We're your neighbors.
We grew up in towns like Upper Darby, Elkins Park, Springfield, Flourtown and Deptford Township.
We went to school here.
We care deeply about Philadelphia, its suburbs and South Jersey.
We're not trying to create the next multinational media behemoth. We're rebuilding the kind of world-class hometown papers that used to define cities like Philadelphia.
Big challenges lie ahead, and a slowing economy makes it undeniably tougher. But The Inquirer has been around for 180 years, and we're committed to making certain it's around for 180 years more.
So, the next time I see you at a game, at Mass, or at a concert, please keep telling me what we're doing well - and what we can do better. And please remember the critical role these newspapers play in our community.
At 51, I've been in other businesses that were just as tough as this one. But none of them seemed quite as important. And that's why I'm proud of this great, historic endeavor. Our local owners know it's more than a business; it's a public trust.
The TrekMedic shouts from his soapbox: Brian, you had every opporuntity to make the Inkwaster something better. Change isn't only from the bottom line to pay back your investors; change comes from the top. You've kept the same liberal-leaning editors that drove the paper into the ground. Sure, adding Trek-friend Lisa Scottoline was cute. Adding Rick Santorum would be better if he wasn't marginalized to every other Thursday. Giving that bald-headed Quisling TWO columns a week is a joke. No, Brian, there won't be a CHRISTmas for your newspaper and tree-killing rag. The government won't bail you out, no matter how much of the Obamistake's Kool-Aid you drink. Want "change?" Start reporting the news as news, not as another left-leaning opinion piece!
Labels: Leftist Media