Don't Look To Young People To Save The Herald

Yipes! We didn't post anything about the big confab discussion "Miami: A No Newspaper Town" this week! All in all, the thing came off like a funeral service for the Herald, while the supposedly dead body tried to protest it was still alive. We are approximately 35 micro news cycles behind, but lets review some funny things from this short passage from the AP article about the event:

The burden of survival doesn't rest on the Herald alone, said University of Miami communications professor Sam Terrili.

"Buy young people a newspaper subscription, a magazine subscription," said Terrili, a former general counsel for the Herald. "Get these kids to start reading and focusing on the news. It's amazing to me to see how little they care about what's happening around them."

First, rocks in glass houses aside, it is Sam Terrilli. Two Ls. It's an AP article, but the misspelling still appeared in the paper where he used to work.

Second off, someone actually does give newspaper subscriptions to young people: The University of Miami's dinning hall, for instance. My last year at the school there were three papers available: The New York Times, The USA Today, and The Miami Herald. Personally, I'd always read the Times, then I'd browse through USA Today, and never bothered with the Herald. I'd pick up the student newspaper, or the New Times (which was kept outside, safely away from all the other papers), before I picked up the Herald. And believe me, there were always left over Heralds. UM students -- and maybe they're not indicative of the rest of the youth in this community, but overall, they're more likely to read a newspaper -- just didn't have much use for it.   

Maybe former New Times writer Rebecca Wakefield summed it up best:

The Herald's challenge is surviving "as a general interest publication in a community with no general interest," Wakefield said.

Whatever interest the Herald has decided to pursuit as its driving force, it certainly doesn't match mine. It's not like The Times where

I can pat myself on the back for skimming through a bunch of important

articles of national and international significance, and then indulge

in some aspirational, luxury-bait in the Styles section or read about

music and movies that make me feel smart in Arts & Leisure (for the

record, for some odd reason, the Heralds delivered to UM never

seemed to include The Tropical Life section).Yet the things I'd want to

read that would never come up on the the national paper's radar -- like

local news, local art coverage, state politics, etc -- were never presented

in the physical edition that well if they did it at all. Plus, I could

always read it online. 

I'm guessing my personal reasons for skipping the Herald are different

from most, but it seems more and more most do have reasons for skipping

it.


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