Friday, July 9, 2010

Who says print is dead?

Two new newspaper notes in the Granite State, one I have seen and one I haven't, that prove that print may not be dead after all.
First, let's talk about The New Hampshire Herald, a brand new monthly newspaper (with hopes of becoming a weekly), that is pretty impressive right out of the gate.
The 16-pager is a full color tab with big headlines and real stories inside. Sure, it has a decidedly slanted view of the world, tilting conservative, based on the types of topics written about in the first edition - screaming headlines like "CONDOMS FOR KIDS," New Hampshire becoming an immigrant state (we went from 99% white to what, 97% white?), a Thomas Sowell column, and a slew of Christian/spiritual-themed classifieds and advertising. BTW, there isn't anything wrong with that, especially when looking at the liberal slant in papers like the Concord Monitor. But putting Ovide Lamontagne on the front, with the headline "OVIDE SECOND COMING" when they guy doesn't have a chance in hell of winning? That's a bit much but a good way to break out of the gate. There is a nice restaurant feature inside so there is potential here for not being just another blaring headline tab (although I'm liking that aspect of it).
There is a call-out for freelance writers who "have proven ability to craft fair and balanced news stories," so who knows what the future holds for the Herald.
The print quality is also a bit spotty (fuzzy contact with the newsprint in places) which could either be the quality of the newsprint or the press. However, for a first edition, it looks pretty good.

According to the July 1 edition of The Hippo, another new monthly hit the streets in June.
The Queen City Examiner is described in a short story as "the people's paper," focusing on "the big issues of the day" with "an emphasis on fact-checking and providing in-depth coverage of local affairs" (take that, UL, LOL) in Manchester. The paper is using a nonprofit model for funding, according to the article, and ran 16 pages with the 5,000 press run, with a goal of going to 8,000 (nice!). The Examiner will also move from bi-weekly to weekly in the future. The next edition will come out on Aug. 2, so I'll definitely try and check it out.
Interesting footnote from the Hippo article: Apparently the company closed down their Manchester Express project in January. Since I don't get to Manch much, I didn't know this. Although, I did know they were moving from a daily to a weekly ["Free Manch daily to go weekly"]. I liked the daily the few times I saw it. In many ways, the distribution models don't work for print but communities that have more than one daily newspaper are better served than ones with news monopolies. That has become clear. The key now will be figuring out how to make it work ... and how to find time to actually read the daily newspapers too.


TravelkingNH said...

"But putting Ovide Lamontagne on the front, with the headline "OVIDE SECOND COMING" when they guy doesn't have a chance in hell of winning? That's a bit much but a good way to break out of the gate."

I assume you were not in New Hampshire in 1996. If Ovide doesn't outright win, it will be much closer than you think. Voters have to believe in their candidates to come out and vote in off-year primary elections. There are a lot of NH conservatives that BELIEVE in Ovide. We will be voting in September.....and most of us will be voting for Ovide.

Tony said...

Hi "TravelkingNH," thanks for posting. No, I was living in Massachusetts in 1996 but I was watching the election up here, like I always have done. I remember Ovide getting his head handed to him - by like what, 18 percent? - against Shaheen. This was the same year that Bob Smith was able to squeak out a win for re-election to his Senate seat. With a blowout field of candidates this year for the Senate and two of them serious hitters, with a lot of name recognition and dough, I seriously doubt Ovide will get more than 15 percent.