The question on the front page of this week’s edition of the Monterey County Weekly is a good one.
In the accompanying cover story, editor-in-chief Mary Duan examines the significance of The Salinas Californian’s recently announced decision to shift at the end of September from a six-days-a-week print schedule to one that will put forth editions of the Gannett paper on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays only (the paper has never had a Sunday edition). There’s a sidebar, about the paper’s digital strategy, and these thoughts, from an eminently qualified observer:
“It [the youth audience] is a demographic that’s accustomed to getting its content (music, news, etc.) for free, and has said ‘no paywalls,’” Jim Romenesko writes in an email exchange. “The New York Times went after that demo with its $8/month NYT Now mobile app; it was forced to make it a free offering after attracting only 20,000.”
“The simple truth is: Young people will refuse to pay for news as long as they can access sites like BuzzFeed, Vox and Gawker at no charge,” Romenesko writes.
For her piece, Duan also spoke with former Californian gm Terry Feinberg and one-time Gannett-focused blogger Jim Hopkins. In next week’s series Part 2, the focus will be The Monterey County Herald.
The Californian, founded in 1871, is the Golden State’s oldest continuously publishing newspaper.
[Image via: montereycountyweekly.com]