Dear owners of the Times Picayune and The Lens.
It seems The Times Picayune thinks of me more as a product to be sold than as a consumer of information, that they are more interested in selling advertising than they are in providing news content. In this business model reporters are simply overhead and the news I think I am buying is merely the delivery method for the advertising.
This is why print media are "failing".
I support NPR because I want the highest quality journalism I can find. The decision the Times Picayune has made caused me to realize that I have the same option for Local News. I want to support journalists who provide the product I really want and not simply a delivery method for advertising owned by people who are far, far from New Orleans. So unless and until the TP changes their decision, I'm voting with my dollars. The Lens will now get the same financial support from me that I formerly gave the Times Picayune. Oh and no more gift subscriptions for others either, so the TP isn't just loosing one delivery address.
I still think that the Times Picayune is a great loss to New Orleans. We have too many people who don't have the capacity to "consume" online news. I still think that a tangible newspaper that can be waved about and pointed to and read without the need for electricity is valuable. I also think that award winning journalism on disappearance of our coastline or recent reporting on the inner workings of our prison system is important to put in front of New Orleanians. I want to continue to know what Jarvis DeBerry thinks. I want to see who James Gill is poking with his rapier wit. I want to see where Stephanie Bruno has walked this week. I want to be aware of the offerings and the rhythms of the city, good and bad. I want to be comforted in knowing that Bob Marshall and Mark Schleifstein are doing their best to keep us aware of the desperate state of our coastline. I want to sample the opinions of others without having to wade through all the hateful trash that shows up in the comments on Nola.com.
But to the owners of the Times Picayune I am just a consumer of advertising. They don't value me as anything more than something to be offered to their real customers. And they don't value the journalists who provide the wrapper for this advertising and this is why they will eventually fail, in print and online.