Today’s Bloomberg News story about the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal going after readers from regional U.S. newspapers by reintroducing local sections ought to be scaring the heck out of those newspapers.
Both the NYT and WSJ had previously attemptedÂ going local during theÂ good old days of print journalism, but ended their California, ConnecticutÂ and NewÂ Jersey experiments whenÂ advertising started slowing down.
Now that every regional newspaper (including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Newsday,Â Hartford Courant, Boston Globe, San Jose Mercury News and the Miami Herald) has decimated its foreign, nationalÂ and business news coverages, it leaves a great opening for the two giant newspapers.
A reader in Hartford who could get Connecticut news from the WSJ or the NYT would have a tough choice between The Courant and the national newspapers. If the national newspapers could also pick up the Sunday circulars, the Courant would be toast.
The Courant would thenÂ squeezed from both ends, the large papers as well as small daily newspapers thatÂ are hyper local andÂ Internet sites lineÂ mine, New Haven Independent, CtNewsjunkie and new national sites that promise to cover every town.
The same holds true in every major city in the country. Maybe it will force the regional newspapers to stop laying off their talent and start beefing up their local business and local news teams. That would be a pleasant outcome for the readers and for democracy.
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