Saturday, May 10, 2014

THE NEW LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWSPAPER...

I find it very strange indeed for a city the size of Los Angeles to have only one daily newspaper, so I am happy that The Los Angeles Register has come onto the scene. While that paper and I are poles apart on most matters political, I very firmly believe that an intelligent person will consider more than one side of any matter before making up his or her mind (http://donzpost.blogspot.com/2014/05/was-holocaust-real.html).

But I have several problems with the Register. I guess the most basic one is with the paper's underlying principles. Published in each edition of the Register is the clear statement that its "guiding philosophy rests on three tenets: The Declaration of Independence, the Ten Commandments, and the Golden Rule." While every newspaper should have a basic guiding philosophy that determines its editorial stance, I find that statement puzzling; how, pray tell, is anyone going to enforce a commandment against "coveting," as is ordered in two of the Commandments? I suggest that the three bodies of thought upon which any American newspaper's underlying principles are based might be: The Declaration of Independence,  The Golden Rule, and The Constitution of the United States.

My other criticism is with the manner in which the paper was introduced. The Times is firmly entrenched as an institution in this city. Yes, we definitely DO need another journalistic voice, and while I strongly disagree with some of the editorial positions of the Register papers, I welcome them into this arena. BUT: The marketing department of The Register committed what I consider a puzzling, unforgivable tactical mistake in the roll-out: They came out, from the git-go, charging exactly what the Times charges --- which many of us consider to be waaayyy too much. I very clearly remember when a daily newspaper was only 5 cents, and a Sunday paper was a whopping QUARTER(!), so I balked and swore that I simply would NOT pay $1.50 for a daily paper, and $2.00 for a Sunday paper when the cost of The Times rose to those prices; it seemed to me that the Times would have come out even, or maybe even a little ahead, if they'd kept the paper's prices low, but raised the cost of advertising by, say, 0.05%. Such a tiny increase in advertising cost would have been negligible for advertisers, but since more people would probably have continued to read the paper, they'd have been getting much "more bang for their buck." But, since The Times did make that mistake, I would happily have gone over to an equally well-produced alternative that cost less (I'm sorry, but I do NOT consider The Daily News to be "equally-well produced"). But no, The Register came out costing exactly the same as The Times; so, what incentive would I have for switching, or even adding The Register to my reading regimen --- when I am absolutely unable to pay that price?

NOW: If The L.A. Register had been given away FREE (on street corners, in stores, and everywhere else) for, say, two months; then for another couple of months, cost maybe a nickel for daily and a quarter for Sunday editions; then, for another eight months, cost $0.50/$1.00; after a year they could have raised their prices to match those of The Times, and so many of us would have gotten used to reading it AND or INSTEAD OF The Times that we would be loathe to change...but no, they came out of the gate charging $1.50 for their daily paper, and $2.00 for their Sunday paper. I don't see them making it in this market. Not with me, anyway.