Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ohio newspapers run blank page to show what coverage without a local paper looks like

A pair of community newspapers in Ohio last week twice ran house ads that consisted of the newspapers' logo and a blank page to show the news coverage communities without a local paper can expect to receive, Jason Sanford reports for the Ohio Newspaper Association. The Evening Leader, a six-day afternoon paper in Saint Marys, and The Wapakoneta Daily News, in Wapakoneta, ran the ads as part of National Newspaper Week.

Deb Zwez, group publisher for both papers, told Sanford, “I’ve been threatening to run this kind of ad for years because I get so frustrated when readers—and especially nonreaders—complain that there's never anything to read in the paper and use that as a reason to not subscribe.”

Zwez said "the papers received about a half dozen calls from people complaining that the page was blank," Sanford writes. "Her favorite response, though, was a voice mail from a reader who didn’t want to pay for that paper because he was missing a page. The reader wanted someone to call him and tell him what news he’d missed on the blank page. A subsequent phone call brought his attention to the words at the bottom of the ad. Zwez invites all newspapers around the country to create their own version of the ad." She told Sanford, “It makes for a pretty powerful statement." (Read more)

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