What sells newspapers? Reporting the news

images1Downtown Nevada City was like a ghost town Saturday morning, but never mind that: We always shop locally, because it’s our hometown.

After eating breakfast at Pine Street Cafe ($30), my family and I walked around and visited some of the stores, including a favorite wine shop.

Instead of a big hello, I mostly got lectured on how all the news was “so negative.” While more “happy news” is needed for balance, it won’t change the reality of the worst recession in decades  — and the fallout.

More hand wringing showed up Sunday from the Sacramento Bee’s publisher Cheryl Dell: “What is our role in helping our region to be successful? We are a local business and, like all local businesses we need to help our community recover from these very difficult times.

“In our view, tough reporting on the powerful in the community is important to any community’s overall success, but should we be doing more? Do most readers understand that we can celebrate the success in the community and call people on bad behavior at the same time?” 

Yes, Cheryl, we understand. What we don’t like is messing with reality in the news pages of our newspaper — to satisfy advertisers or whomever. Just get more creative and help your ad staff sell some more ads.

Show them how they can grow market share in a downturn — Business 101.

We spent $160 at the Nevada City wine shop to replenish our wine rack for special occasions — putting some money where our mouth is and a smile on the owner’s face — at least I think so.

As we left, I told him I rely on newspapers to find out what is going on — the good, the bad and the ugly.

For pure entertainment, I told him I got a subscription to People magazine. It’s just $89 a year, less than most newspapers charge. I laughed at this one: “Jennifer Aniston chows on dog treats.”

(illustration from jworld.wordpress.com)

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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