Why Newspapers Are Dying, Example XXXVIII
Sherman Oaks, California
Want to find out who in the newspaper business gets it? Check out the subscription rates.
Most large cities have a daily or weekly legal newspaper that prints recent judicial opinions, obsequious profiles of judges and op-ed pieces on whether Congress needs to revise the wording of the supplemental jurisdiction statute. Lively copy it ain’t, but it serves a purpose.
I thought about subscribing to the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the principal legal newspaper in town. A subscription would save me the hassle of visiting several different court websites every day to read the newest decisions, plus the paper publishes a useful guide every month listing the telephone numbers of every courtroom clerk in California.
A one-year subscription: $667.
“Oh, that’s print,” I thought. “I bet the print subscription rate is inflated to drive people to the lower-priced online edition. No publisher these days wants to pay for paper and ink and delivery.”
A one-year subscription to the online edition: $667. An introductory rate lets new subscribers into the digital fold for only $583.50 a year.
Resolved, That the publishers of the Los Angeles Daily Journal Do Not Get It.
Daily Variety delivers a physical newspaper to your door in the Los Angeles and New York metro areas for $299 a year. It’s in color on fancy paper, to boot.
The Wall Street Journal will drop off a print edition six days a week for $99 a year or save you twenty bucks if you go digital only.
But if you want to read quotes from lawyers flattering the judges deciding their cases, that’s almost $700 a year whether or not an atom of ink hits newsprint.
I’ll keep reading the decisions on court web sites, thank you.