Friday, January 9, 2009

Alaska Newspapers Inc, Phooey On You!

We basically only have one paper that covers this region, The Arctic Sounder, owned by Alaska Newspapers, INC. It sells at the store once a week for $1. You used to have the option to read it on their website for free in PDF form, so basically it was just like reading the actual paper, pictures and all, except that it's electronic and free.

So last October, they decided that they were no longer going to offer the PDF Version for free, but will soon be offered again for paid subscription. I'm sure they were probably losing money on the deal, because frankly the paper is not worth $1.

I guess they figured that doing this would force people into having to actually buy it instead. You know what? I have not bought one single paper since this has happened....except for the last time they had one of my photos in it. Why would I want to buy a paper that has hardly anything relevant to our region in it? Really, it should be called the Barrow Sounder.

I know a person who complained about the lack of Kotz content and she was told that if she would like to improve content she should submit some articles. Wait a minute....Alaska Newspapers EMPLOYS a reporter for the Kotzebue region who is PAID to take photos and write articles. The problem is that AK Newspapers, cuz they are cheap bastards for whatever reason , has decided that it is not necessary to have this reporter stationed in Kotzebue. I can't lay the blame on the reporter, after all how effective is it to have a reporter living 550 miles away from the area they cover? I don't mind sending them some photos every now and then so there is at least SOMETHING in the paper from Kotzebue, but I sure as heck don't get PAID for the time and effort I put into the stuff I contribute.

So you know what, Alaska Newspapers, INC. Your lucky there are people like us, here and in Barrow, that are willing to take your photos and write your stories, because if you had to depend only on your ""Hired Help" your paper would be skinnier than it already is.



Finnskimo, its more than just a name... said...

YEAH, take that! And, I happen to know (I think...) that the reporter only gets ONE trip to EITHER Kotzebue OR Barrow per year...ONE TRIP! What the hell is that about?! Ugh.

Ah well, I write letters too. Maybe with your photography and my article writing, we could open up our OWN newspaper...we just need someone to PRINT THEM for us...and not ship them from Anchorage. Ugh.

Ishmael said...

Ah, ANI. I've had many, many, many experiences with them in various communities I've lived in.

I'm personally offended that they don't have reporters in the communities and won't pay contributors like yourself.

For them to tell complainers to provide content without paying them borders on criminal.

Just greedy bastards with a bad business plan. But what do you expect? They're owned by the incompetents at Calista Corporation.

Ishmael said...

And to Finnskimo (I'm one, too), you and Cathy already have your own news sources (your blogs). Don't give in to dead tree journalism - there's no way it'll ever be profitable again.

Well, unless it's in the ANI cookie-cutter style. Next time you folks are in Anchorage, pick up the Sounder and the BayTimes or another ANI paper - their innards are almost identical. It's sad.

Millsy said...

Word Cathy! I haven't bought a single one either. Back when they had online access, I would always read it online and buy it in the store. I always enjoyed sending friends and families random copies when I was done with them.
The new internet site is not user-friendly. Frankly, it looks like HTML 101.
I like Finnskimo's idea, only make it electronic. Information should be free anyways. We'd get a lot more of the info we want as opposed to what the Barrow football team has done this week.

Grace said...

So, how do we get you on the newspaper payroll?

Although your blog probably does a better job of telling the story around Kotz than any newspaper could.

Justin said...

I'll be in Kotz later today. I'll have to pick up a copy just because of your pictures.

Anonymous said...

Finnskimo and Joneskimo, maybe You'll have to shorten the name to Jo-Fin. I think between the two of you, you can do an online paper and sell ad space on there from the local businesses. Ish is right, content is same-same on all ANI

Yes! The Snowball Express!

Russ yer dog

Finnskimo, its more than just a name... said...

I think I smell an idea forming. Maybe I'll write a grant for you to get a brand new camera with all the latest accessories, and I'll get a new computer...and we can cohort together. Yeah...sounds like a plan. We'll have to find a cool new name... I like Jo-Fin, but it sounds like some natives name!

KuskoMama said...

I was just reading some back posts of yours and came across this one. Same goes for the YK Delta region - they combined Bethel with Dillingham (our communities don't have THAT much in common...). They cut out the local content and added several pages of worthless TV listings. I haven't bought one in over a year. Like you, I used to occasionally get the PDF from their website - just for kicks.

I guess I should be lucky we have a local independent newspaper worth its salt.