Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dear Valued Subscriber

Letter today with my Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Dear Valued Subscriber:

Thank you for your subscription to .... etc. etc. And then the biggie:

Beginning April 26, 2009, we will focus distribution of our print edition to 20 counties that are closely connected with Atlanta's growing market and our core customers. Due to the changes, the final newspaper distribution to your address will take place on April 25, 2009.

Bloody hell.

Yeah, it upsets my morning routine and I know you're deeply disturbed by that, but let's turn this to what people know. I (and others) use the AJC to find out what the brainiacs are up to in the Georgia Legislature. This is a group that rarely finds a stupid idea too stupid to actually approve. Yes, I can get it online. I can even subscribe to the coveted "e-edition" that is a replica of the print product. Yeah, right. It's simple -- people don't read online with the same depth and attention that they do with a print product. Online we're skimmers, we're grazers, we pick up bits and pieces of journalistic flotsam and jetsam.

This is probably a dumb idea by the AJC, but I can't really say so because I don't have the circulation numbers and costs to be a fair judge. But to kiss off Athens and UGA, does that make sense for 35,000 potential young readers who eventually will grow up, stop binge drinking, and perhaps have real jobs in the Atlanta market some day? I'm also surprised they're cutting Oconee and really surprised they're cutting Barrow County, which is growing fast and become kinda an exurb of Atlanta.

Sad news, along with the cuts of journalists who work at the AJC. That's the worst bit of all, both personally and in terms of what people know. Fewer people covering the news, the less we know.

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