This recent four-year
term of the Adams County Board of Supervisors will go down in modern history
as memorable. To paraphrase, "Never has so little been done by so few and
cost so much."
Gaza is home to Palestinian people,
who have suffered injustices and have a history of legitimate grievances
against both Israel and Arab governments.
The Miss-Lou’s breaking news:
Medina Scirocco has been promoted to sales manager of
Miss-Lou Magazine, The
Natchez Sun and XPress. The latest U.S. Census estimates show Adams County is still
losing population. McDonald's "Coffee for a Cause" program has raised more
than $3228 so far this year. Block High will celebrate its 100th anniversary
on April 25 with a day filled with events.
The Advice Goddess:
Saying you won't have kids for "moral
reasons" sounds better than these reasons: They can be loud, sticky, and
Terry Savage on money:
It's human nature to want to get that
Social Security check as soon as possible. But though collecting sooner
rather than later is tempting -- and may very well be the right move for
some -- your monthly benefit will be higher if you can be patient.
McAllister on health:
Many people ask me what my most
important task is. Without question, it is helping people die with dignity,
in comfort and surrounded by those they love.
Thomas Sowell thinking clearly:
By abandoning virtually all its demands for serious restrictions on Iran's
nuclear bomb program, the Obama administration has apparently achieved the
semblance the beginning of a tentative framework for an eventual agreement
Best buys classifieds:
Buy, sell or trade.
Market your goods and services to readers in the Miss-Lou area and across
Tourists and pilgrims welcome:
Spring is in full swing. While it's
still cold and nasty up north, temps here are in the 80s. It's time to visit
Natchez and Vidalia.
Win cash or prizes!
Our $500 cash winner is
so happy. Who won our contest?
More good writing:
There's more good writing on
www.natchezsunxpress.com. Local news, commentary, features and cartoons.
Look for Michael Barone and Michelle Malkin.
Information sellers still searching
by Charlie Mitchell
That’s what a newspaper in
Canada has decided to charge per story for viewers who visit its digital
edition and scroll around for news and information.
Customers will create an
account. Their selections will be tracked, and their credit cards will be
charged for each click.
The name of the Winnipeg newspaper is the Free Press.
But no press is free. Those who
gather “content” (a loathsome word to journalists) must eat, pay rent and
car notes just as other humans do. They like to get paid.
By now, we all know the financial arrangement that sustained
print and broadcast media companies for many decades has been diluted. The
major source of money for media operations came from advertisers who found
it beneficial to piggyback their messages with news and entertainment.
As more and more people shop online for jobs, homes, cars,
clothing and other consumer needs, advertisers’ dollars are being spent more
Media companies created and keep ramping up their Internet
offerings, but the advertising hasn’t followed — at least not dollar for
dollar. Think about it. When a shopper is looking for, say, a ladder, the
shopper visit websites of stores that sell ladders. Stores have a
diminishing need to pay media outlets to tout their products.
So, for at least 15 years, media companies have been casting
about for other revenue streams.
One approach by newspapers and magazines has been to increase
subscription prices. Not too long ago, newspapers sold for a quarter. Now,
some are $2 per copy.
When media companies started websites, the vast majority
imposed no fees or charges of any type. Circulation directors complained
about this, pointing out it was not easy to sell a product to some people
while others were getting it free, but “free news” became the expectation of
Gradually, print media companies inflicted “pay walls” on
readers. They vary greatly, some offering a little time on the site before a
person is told to pay or go away. Others say “pay or go away” immediately.
All sorts of consequences ensued. For one thing, there was
public outrage over being “gouged” by “greedy” media companies. For another,
there are so many alternative sources. If a person who wants to know the
score of last night’s baseball game visits the local newspaper website and
hits a pay wall, the person can click away and find the score someone else …
Twitter, the school website … tons of “free” options. A media company can’t
really expect a person to pay unless there is exclusive “content” a viewer
really wants to see.
Now along with all of this, major changes have evolved in how
consumers do their research and make their buying decisions. People tend to
want facts, especially for major purchases. They don’t really care whether
they are looking at information offered by a manufacturer (formerly called
advertising copy) or by a neutral product reviewer. People will read
articles and customer comments about resorts or cars or exercise equipment
to get the information they seek, and they really don’t care who wrote it.
Where is all of this going?
The only thing that can be said for sure is that the demand
for news and information and entertainment is increasing exponentially.
The Winnipeg Free Press is not the first to come up with a
pay-per-story approach. Some companies actually extend this thinking and, in
turn, pay writers based on how mant readers they attract. If no one reads an
article, the journalist is paid nothing. If millions do, the journalist gets
a big, fat check. As has happened with other experiments, others will mimic
and modify to see what, if anything, gets traction.
As indicated, the key is high-quality, exclusive news and
information that people want. But sometimes budgeteers can’t wrap their
spreadsheets around that simple fact.
In the interim, there is hope. People do change their
habits and their thinking over time.
Some of us are old enough to remember the ironclad fact
in American society that television and radio were free. In the early days
of cable the mere notion of paying $3.50 per month to get a few more
channels was an option only for the wealthy. Today, as we know, most
households pay $100 to $200 or more monthly for the opportunity to watch
“Duck Dynasty” 24/7.
But cable, satellite and Internet TV are being challenged,
Who will be paid how much for what remains an open question.
Charlie Mitchell is a Mississippi journalist. Write to him at