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Wonder Why

Wonder Why's Journal
Wonder Why's Journal
January 13, 2023

What if years ago, newspapers told visitors the following:

"So you are from out of town and want to buy a paper to read the local news? Sorry, we don't do that. You have to buy a six month subscription and every time you want to read the paper, you have to tell us who you are. And if you pick up a previously read paper from 3 weeks ago, you still have to pay to read any article".

Think that would fly?

That's what so many local media sites are doing today. You see an online article about something that happened in East Podunk and you say to yourself, "I used to live there" or "I'm considering visiting there so I want to read some local restaurant reviews" or some other reason. Can you do that? Not any more and so many sites whose numbers increase daily, it seems. You have to pay to read any article or one of interest to you that is "restricted to subscribers". Moreover, you have to login so they can track which articles you read to sell that information to others - even if you paid to read it!

So you do what so many of us do - restrict your reading to the free sites or go to the library and read the national papers there. Of course, if you are a local, you can stop by the library daily and skip paying for the local paper at all. For the out-of-towner, finding a local paper that has local news is difficult and the location of the library and its hours are something that has to be looked up at every town.

Sure, local news sites need the income and are fast dying. But they, in the past, made their money from local residents and didn't track what they read or, worse, sell that information to others.They lost their ability to market themselves locally. They "off-shored" their subscription handling which cost them many customers dissatisfied with the service (like me); they contracted out their printing to out of town mega-printers who provided low quality printing; they stopped carrying much local news and just added national inserts (Do I really need to read national news from local inserts?); they put all their stories online and instead of selling news, they sold the readers' personal information ;and, in general, lost their way.

Their solution is to sell 6 month or 1 year teaser-priced subscriptions with auto-renewal to catch the suckers to anyone and everyone just to read a single story (or more than the first paragraph of one).

Front Page used to be the latest news, so extensively written that they had to send you to the back pages to finish it. Now it contains meaningless unrelated pop-up videos that move around, lots of ads and plenty of stories that are months old. (My local paper until a few weeks ago had its Black Friday story still on the main page!

"Local newspapers" are no longer local. Owned by out-of-towners that own many papers and containing little research on local stories with poorly written articles, lots of stories about the local high school football team's last game, and lots of canned stories provided by outsiders who "contribute" their articles to push their agenda. The reporters are gone and the editors all have the same name - "Microsoft Word".

Oh, well. No wonder Fox News does so much business.

January 5, 2023

"Downturn causes company board to fire executives and cut highly paid managers' salaries"

Okay, so we'll never read that. All we read about is how the rowers get fired and the coxswains get big bonuses fr saving the company money.

But we can fantasize, can't we?

I remember the old days when Hewlett Packard asked its employees to take a 5% pay cut to avoid layoffs. Upper management had to take a 10% cut to show they would do more than what they asked of the employees. Ten years or so later, new management fired 10,000 and gave themselves big bonuses.

January 3, 2023

If I could draw political cartoons, this would be my first:

Picture of the devil sitting on his throne, surrounded by flames. Next to him is a sign saying: "Support my GoFundMe campaign. I'm being overrun and can't afford the coal for my fires"

In a long line at the gate are Donald, his family, his lawyers, Proud Boys, Oath Takers, his aides, some Supreme Court Justices, right-wing Republican politicians, many Secret Service men, Maggots, anti-vaxxers and other minions.

Perhaps we have an artist in the crowd.

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