Today, when we got out of church, we stopped for a sandwich at a Subway with a gas station next door where I plunked down two bucks for a copy of the Grand Rapids Press. What got into me? Just think of how many dollars I would have to have in a savings account for a year to earn the purchase price.
So what did I get for my money? In this post, I will itemize what I find useful as I read it, including ads and coupons. How about you? Do you get back from the paper what you pay for it? I will post and publish as I read. Here goes:
- Column by the GR Press editor Paul Keep about the paper's future on the web. I'm reading it now. He writes about how his paper is transitioning from a paper first product to a web first product. Wow. I'm impressed. This means that his paper will feed a 24-hour news cycle where you can tap into stories as they happen. Can this work? What do you think?
- Editorial about getting illegal firearms off the streets of Grand Rapids. One important fact from the editorial mentions that the average time from a firearm being stolen to used in a crime is 13 years. Also noted in the piece is the paper's series of stories last week that detailed the trail of local guns from the time they were stolen to when they were used in a crime. I'd like to read those.
- Story highlighting pictures of a young woman who once had been a model and then got into the local drug scene. It's a page one banner story that jumps to the next page and seems to have little reason for existence other than mention of a drug study show an increase in use among the area's youth particularly high school seniors.
- A pull-out TV booklet listing all the television shows in the local area. This seems to be a good thing and has some value.
- Coupons are not in the paper I purchased with the exception of a sheet of coupons from Steak and Shake with pictures of burgers, fries and shakes that would make any cardiologist smiles. Tastes good though, I'm sure.
- Small town news from nearby communities described on the page as Ada to Zeeland. It's a bunch of bits and pieces of small city and township stuff that you would find in a typical local shopper.
Did I waste two bucks? Probably. It was my contribution to the news industry in this part of Michigan.
It had some interesting facts about the local area here and there. But, it was light on any depth and skipped many local units and levels of government that need journalistic oversight.
I will be checking their website though to see if there's more.