Watching Local Media Shrink Right Here in Billings
Part of getting ready for work for me every day is checking websites for news and interesting things to discuss on the air. And on the KTVQ website this morning I saw their story about Lee Enterprises cutting 13 newsroom positions. Six of those at the Gazette in Billings.
What happened with radio consolidation is happening to the newspaper business. And even though all media supposedly competes against each other for that same all-mighty ad dollar, I hate to hear of anybody getting laid off when the company is cutting their spending.
And then the next question that pops into my head is "How much longer are local newspapers going to be able to stay in business?" The information age makes news pretty easy to come by. But if you lose your local paper, you lose the majority of your local coverage. So we'll get fewer pictures of small-town parades, criminals to be on the lookout for, and somebody's kids making a basket in the big school tournament.
One prime example that comes to mind is how the Gazette sent a reporter to cover the winner of the county spelling bee every year. And we know that because Paul and I emceed the bee for 25 years. For a lot of these kids, it's the only time they will get their picture in the paper.
So, I guess I'm wondering how much longer they can hang on. And what local news coverage in our little town is going to look like.