Trials and Tribunalations

Trials and Tribunalations

How’d it come to this.  The noble San Diego Union Tribune,  renowned for generations as being the fairest, straight shooting paper in all the land, on the auction block along with the rest of its Copley siblings?  Is this the end of Rico?

Could it be because the UT is the country’s 21st largest metropolitan newspaper but San Diego is the 17th largest metropolitan area?  Could it be because circulation has been dropping steadily since Reaganism was a pup?  Could it be because, in a county increasingly non-white and non-Republican, the UT’s editorial page (and, indeed, general news and features coverage)  seem to be pitched to a San Diego that disappeared 30 years ago?   Could it be that, since you know exactly which position the UT editorial page will take on any issue (pro-business, pro-development,  pro-Republican, pro-Downtown uber-alles) reading it is usually as surprising as figuring out what the weather will be in June?  (As in gloom, which ends up being an unintended  pun, now, doesn’t it?)

Okay, whoever  wants to pony up the money to buy Copley Press and its Dino-like UT, five little suggestions from the friendly competition:

1.  Given that 25% (and probably over 30% by the 2010 census) of San Diegans are Hispanic and another  15% are African American  or other non-whites, how about dedicating some news print to this demographic block.  How about a Spanish-language edition?  How about more outreach and interaction with the African-American and Asian-American  media & community groups.  Pitching your paper to the aging white population north of I-8 (and, increasingly, north of Miramar road) ain’t going to put hay in front of the horse much longer.  (And old Nellie has been looking gaunt for years as it is.)

2. Fire the editorial board. The whole kit and kaboodle.  (There’s another pun in there if you dig for it.)  The Reagan revolution is over, circa the election of 2008.  If the UT wants to stay relevant it has to embrace more of the views held by moderates (and, even, gasp,  Democrats, who happen to be in the majority in the city) and quit acting like its still 1969, Nixon is in power and the UT’s in his pocket.

3. The future belongs to the young.  How about a truncated UT edition aimed at the areas’ college campuses where future readers will spring from.

4.And, if the UT wants to reach the modern techno-culture, it will need to completely revamp (or start from scratch) with the SignOnSanDiego website.  The UT has never put the money or innovative brain power .  The UT needs more on-line synergy, more partnerships with other media (local & national TV/Radio) and more  creative partnerships with on-line consumer websites.  You can’t fight it,  it’s a Craig’s List and E-Bay world.  So join it.

5. Fire the editorial board. The whole kit and kaboodle.  (There’s another pun in there if you dig for it.)  The Reagan revolution is over, circa the election of 2008.  If the UT wants to stay relevant it has to embrace more of the views held by moderates (and, even, gasp,  Democrats, who happen to be in the majority in the city) and quit acting like its still 1969, Nixon is in power and the UT’s in his pocket. (And yes, it’s a repeat but it’s that good an idea….)

Just a few thoughts.  But start off with numeros uno y dos. Y cinco.

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6 Responses to “Trials and Tribunalations”

  1. Surveillance Bill Says:

    Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.JohnBenfieldJohn Benfield

  2. mlaiuppa Says:

    I don’t subscribe because you can’t just buy the Sunday comics and Parade.

    When I want news I go online. I can get faster and more unbiased news on Yahoo.

    Plus….I won’t give one dime to Copley Press. I’m a Teacher. ’nuff said.

  3. World News Says:

    How did it get so late so soon? / Its night before its afternoon. / December is here before its June. / My goodness how the time has flewn. / How did it get so late so soon?TheodorSeussGeiselTheodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, 1904-1991

  4. Jeffrey Davis Says:

    It’d be nice to imagine someone who cares and is connected to SD taking this over… but then as you said, the UT’s been drifting away from the city for 40 years now. How long would it take to get San Diegans thinking of their paper with anything better than indifference again?

  5. mlaiuppa Says:

    My Mother now HATES the Union Tribune.

    They’ve stopped providing a tv listing. *They* say they took a poll and the overwhelming response was it wasn’t needed. I say……I can’t say that here without extreme censorship. My Mother feels even stronger.

    She pays for the paper and her priority is their weekly TV listing because it has everything listed. TV Guide magazine stopped listing 24/7 daily everything years ago. That’s when I canceled my subscription to TV guide magazine. My Mother’s paper still had some listings, though it was cutting back and she was complaining she can only fine prime time 8 pm – 11 pm. Now the U-T has ceased their tv listing guide altogether and my Mother is p¡$$ed.

    So there you go. If they want to know why their readership is shrinking? Maybe it’s because their services are shrinking. My Mother sees no need to pay HIGHER subscription rates for LESS service. She just renewed her subscription and was complaining about the cost going up and then they do away with the TV listing guide.

    The paper isn’t worth it just for the comics and Parade on Sundays. If I can get my Dad to start reading the news online, the U-T can kiss another subscriber goodbye.

  6. Strelnikov Says:

    I thought we had a Spanish newspaper in San Diego (“La Prensa”), but maybe I’m wrong. As for the U-T, it’s the Pravda of the So-Cal GOP; a straight party-line paper run by and for the owners of the state. It will suck a lot worse once it is owned by another company (much like the “Daily” Californian), but at least the Copley death-grip will be broken.


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