Signs that the sun is setting on the British Empire...

Dateline: Fri 24 Jul 2009

Years ago, a firend tells me, Esquire magazine ran an hilarious end-of-the-year article that included the best of/the worst of etc. Part of the yearly feature was "signs that show the sun is setting on the British Empire" As in,..the Empire is on its deathbed; Rhe Empire has got the death rattle; rigor mortis has set in, etc.

We thought it would be a tad amusing to apply this feature to the Indianapolis Star.

So here is a small sign that tells us the death rattle has begun.

Nobody -- well, hardly anyone -- is using the Star to advertise yard sales. I know this, because I comb the paper (to which I still subscribe) every Thursday, Friday and Saturday looking for ads. While there are a few, there are not nearly as many as actual sales -- which I noted again today, driving around the Northside and Downtown.

As stated before, the Star is terribly expensive for this service: like $50 for a couple lines. Craigslist is of course free. The choice is obvious.

Hear that hammering sound? It's the nail being driven into the coffin...

Oh, and any other signs that the end is coming? The one I always hear from readers -- either people who already have dropped the paper, or are still hanging in there by a thread --  is that "the paper is so thin.....I can read it in a few minutes" etc.

What else?





news junkie [Member] said:

I've had some people joke the Fry Electronics section is thicker than the news sections.

There hardly are any classified at all in the paper. Not only is Craig's List free, the Star priced itself out of the market. Same w/obits.

2009-07-24 15:49:14

ruthholl [Member] said:

The kids found a lost dog. I think lost animal ads are free at the Star, or they used to be. But nobody advertised in the Star for this particular black lab. However, the owners did put up signs in the neighborhood etc.
I told the kids, "Put an ad in the Star."
My son, age 35, said, "Mom. Nobody reads the Star."
Anyhow, the dog and its owners were reunited thanks to a sign at the local swimming pool.

2009-07-24 18:21:33

Seneca [unverified] said:

". . . Fry Electronics section is thicker than the news sections . . ."

So is the sports section.

Which could be dropped entirely.

2009-07-25 08:30:37

ruthholl [Member] said:

Feature sections do not exist at the start of the week. They are basically calendars for the rest of the week, with a few (quite good) exceptions. (food, healthy living, saturday garden/home, Sunday home).

2009-07-25 15:54:33

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Good feature writers are hard to find. Who's going to go into that line of work any more? There are almost no jobs.

If the editorial section needs more copy, we could always ask Russ to write some more sucky sap. (Yawn)

2009-07-26 05:52:12

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

It's 8 oclock Sunday morning. Wonder where my Pal-Item and Star are...?

2009-07-26 06:56:19

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

The Star's automated subscriber number tells me I will receive a credit for my non-delivered Sunday paper. The PalItem system says it will arrive by 10.

When newspapers finally, completely ruin their daily home delivery system, they will irretrievably break the habit of reading daily newspapers. They are committing suicide by killing content, and killing the expectation that the day's news will arrive on the doorstep at dawn.

I had a spirited discussion with a PR friend when the Detroit News annonced with great fanfare it was going to a 4-day publishing schedule with the rest online, "In order to better serve our readers." When readers don't get the paper EVERY DAY, they get out of the habit of needing to get the paper every day, and the newspaper becomes unimportant. My father worked for a daily newspaper; the publisher's credo was "Don't Miss A Day Lest Readers Discover They Can Do Without You."

2009-07-26 07:27:50

jersey [unverified] said:

The sports section has become a bad joke. A daily Pacer non story, some high school basketball stories, an IU basketball story, a handful of ap stories.
An occasional Kravitz column, 6 total pages on average, 2 of them stats, standings, ads.
Not good...

2009-07-26 11:01:53

quiet guy [unverified] said:

This was one of the reasons I finally stopped taking The Star. I was already disappointed with the lack of content, but I was raised to expect a newspaper delivered every day. My delivery became so sporadic and I was always told that I'd get credit for missed issues. I figured that if The Star/Gannett didn't care if I received the paper, then I shouldn't either. I cancelled my subscription and haven't looked back.

<quote>When newspapers finally, completely ruin their daily home delivery system, they will irretrievably break the habit of reading daily newspapers. They are committing suicide by killing content, and killing the expectation that the day's news will arrive on the doorstep at dawn.</quote>

2009-07-26 11:13:04

ruthholl [Member] said:

Guy used to say, about the business, "You have a million dollar operation in the hands of 12-year-old boys."
The heck of it is, the system worked better when the kids were delivering the paper. At least there was some pride back then in the product.a
As I have said before, it would be hard to sell the Star, given its current state of disorder.
Everyone else: thank you, great comments/observations.

2009-07-26 13:41:29

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

The Star has eliminated many of its best features (and best feature writers and columnists).

But I would not complain at all if some editorial space was reduced to rid the world of Tully's horrid columns.

As an editor at a paper I worked for used to say:
"that's weak action."

2009-07-26 13:56:28

couponclipper [unverified] said:

Death rattle for us is that we only still subscribe to the Star because my wife likes the Sunday ads/coupons. Having it delivered is slightly more convenient than driving to a store on Sun. morning. Would take Sunday only, but they force you to take Thursday along with it. Otherwise, the content is close to useless.

2009-07-27 09:18:21

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