If only they weren't propaganda rags.
In a way I'm feeling sorry for the newspapers. They just don't have the audience they used to.
Today I walked into a Kroger store and they were giving away today's paper with a pitch to sign up for home delivery. 7 days a week for $2.38, plus a free $5 gift card. They're begging people to read their rag. Losing money to show better circulation numbers.
My relationship with the local major paper, The Tennessean, goes back over fifty years.
My mother started teaching me to read when I was four with the comics. Within a year I could read the 'funny papers' as they were called and looked forward to the rural mail carrier bringing The Tennessean every day and getting to read something new. There was no pre-school, head start or kindergarten. My basic reading material was the paper and it sure helped when going into the first grade; school was easy.
For over fifty years I had access to the Tennessean almost every day. Reading it was a ritual.
Many times a collective ritual with friends and family passing around the sections and sharing their thoughts on what they read.
The local news and sports were always good. The Tennessean once did a lot of local investigative reports, even sending reporters undercover, but by around 66 - 67 we were learning that the big newspapers didn't tell the whole story. The Vietnam war was in full swing and guess what, comparing first hand reports from soldiers who had returned with what the newspapers were telling, we found some discrepancies.
Underground independent rags were being hawked on the streets of Nashville by the late 60's and when we were in town we bought them. These papers had the audacity to tell us that most everything we know is wrong. Especially when it came to war-religion-politics..... sex, drugs and rock 'n roll.
Despite our addiction to the main stream daily news, we were always looking for the alternative.
In those pre-internet days, the search took time and was part of the process.
These days, for as long as it lasts, we have the world at our fingertips. The web gives us access to not only almost every newspaper in America and the world but also to information and disinformation for every thought we may have.
In a better world the newspapers would be independent and tell us the truth the best they could. They might even still be successful if they were completely honest.
But things change and when the news 'in hand' isn't what we are looking for, we don't buy.
Lying by omission hurts credibility.
Downright lies kill trust.
Let the faux newspapers die. Pull the plug.
In all fairness, the Tennessean still does a good job on local news and covered the TVA coal ash spill fairly well. There are good people who work there.
They also have some interesting photo essays of middle Tennessee.
The Land Trust for Tennessee worked in tandem with the national Conservation Fund to preserve 3,000 acres around the Savage Gulf. The recent $6 million land acquisition will to preserve the stunning views of this Tennessee gem for future generations.