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The Trib must live!

August 28, 2007

The 80 plus year old Albuquerque Tribune is for sale. If Scripps can’t find a buyer for the struggling paper, then the presses will stop — permanently. Albuquerque is so fortunate to still have two dailies when so many metro areas are left with only one.

The Trib must live!

I’m going to attempt a list — a list of reasons why we need the Tribune to print every afternoon. This isn’t a comprehensive list and I don’t expect everyone to agree with my rationale, but maybe it’ll get you thinking of your own reasons to support our afternoon paper.

  • The Tribune is not the Journal. That’s a good thing. I’m not saying the Journal is a bad paper (I’ll let this fellow take up that cause), I’m just saying it is a different paper. Imagine getting all your news from one source. How are you to know you’re getting accurate information? The whole picture? Balanced coverage? (NM Media Literacy Project, where are you?) The Journal runs a lot of news agency material when it comes to national and international news, but when you put its local coverage next to the Trib’s — well, now we have some competition.
  • The Tribune is a part of print media history. The joint operating agreement between the Journal and the Tribune is the oldest in the country. In 1933, five years after Scripps purchased the Tribune, the owners/operators of the Journal and the Tribune entered a joint operating agreement.

    Under the terms of the JOA, the Journal Publishing Co. is responsible for all the business operations of the Tribune. Scripps and Journal Publishing share profits from the JOA.

    Love thy enemy? The Journal and Tribune are practically ‘kissing cousins’… wait, that’s gross, but you get my point.

  • The Tribune’s website kicks ass. OK, I will take a swipe at the Journal. One word to describe the Journal’s website? How about, “Eewww!” The thing looks like it is straight out 1995’s ‘Information Superhighway.’ You know what — its not only the Journal — all the local broadcast media websites need a cold bucket of water dumped on ’em. I tip my hat to Scripps for revamping their newpapers’ websites. They get top marks in design and function categories. Not to mention the boatloads of web only content like their armada of blogs and the recently launched TribVids. Another feather in the Tribune’s web cap: its free! The Journal gives you access to their content only if you subscribe or if you agree to watch a terrible Flash ad. Likewise, the New Mexico Business Weekly requires a subscription to access (most) full articles. The Trib’s website rocks. No way around it.
  • The Tribune knows the people. So maybe the Tribune isn’t the hard hitting newspaper you want it to be, but maybe it isn’t suppose to be. C’mon, really, it’s an afternoon paper! Do you need more stories from a commercial newswire? Where else but the Trib will you find a story on the Westside Batmobile and local streets named for entertainment fixtures?

There are a lot of reasons to keep the Tribune around, and you and I know I’ve barely scratched the surface. Think about it. A one newspaper town. What a bummer.

The Tribune isn’t perfect. It definately has its flaws, but don’t we all? There is a lot to work with at the Tribune, it can go in many different (and positive) directions if the right buyer(s) come along. A little spit and shine and I’ll be good in no time. Just like my rhyme!

“You don’t know what you have until its gone.” A lesson I hope Albuquerque doesn’t have to learn.

UPDATE: The Trib’s wake (double-entendre intended): TJ Sullivan in LA: The End of an Era. Only in New Mexico: Grab the Funnies. Stephen W. Terrell’s Web Log: Holy Crap!. Heath Haussamen on New Mexico Politics: ABQ Tribune to shut down if it can’t be sold. And let me not forget the site that broke this story (for me, anyway) Duke City Fix: Albuquerque Tribune on the Block.

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