Friday, February 20, 2009

To quote Mark Twain .....

When you are running a business that’s clearly in the public eye, it’s usually best to ignore much of what is said about your business, even if it’s not true.

To comment often gives undue credence to the source and can generate more publicity than the original comment.

But the Internet has changed some of this strategy because just about anyone can start a blog or web site and say anything they want.

Blogs are good for opinions and having a little fun, but not so good in giving you the truth. The reason? Bloggers don’t have the time to verify information and they probably don’t want to do that anyway.

Two recent blog postings – one from an Amarillo blog and another from a blogger near Lubbock – were laughable.

Both were “reporting” rumors the Amarillo Globe-News was going to discontinue the printed edition and go to an electronic edition in the fall.

Like most rumors, there is a small amount of truth in them, but not what they’ve made it out to be.

We are launching a new technology that allows us to offer electronic versions of the printed newspaper. Many newspapers across the country have done the same thing. Truth is, we're a little later than other newspapers in doing this.

But the technology will be used primarily in our Newspaper in Education program. Some AISD teachers are already using it and it will be rolled out in full later this spring and fall. It offers the same version of the paper in an electronic format as well as additional information online on how to use the newspaper in the classroom.

Thousands of newspapers are delivered daily to teachers using the print version now. But this is a new, more efficient way to provide newspapers to students and it does save us money in reducing the number of papers we have to print every day. And like most businesses - and probably like you - we're all looking at ways to save money.

But the rumor mill on this one was pretty funny. One person even posted that they had talked with someone who knew someone at the Globe-News who said we only three rolls of newsprint in our storage area.

Well, that was news to me. So we sent an "investigative" photographer to the storage area about recently and he took the pictures at the top of this post.

The truth is three rolls of newsprint wouldn’t last very long. We use about 10 or so tons per day, which is about 15-20 rolls depending on the size. And we have hundreds of rolls in storage.

Times are changing for newspapers, but we’re changing in response.

But we’re not going anywhere, no matter you may read on the Internet. There are probably a lot of rumors going around about the newspaper. But if you want to know if they're true, just send me an e-mail and I'll answer your questions the best I can.

In the meantime, I would suggest using one of the best pieces of advice I've heard about how to handle information - whether it's from a blogger or a newspaper - which comes from Ronald Reagan: Trust – but verify.


  1. As you say, the standards are different for blogs. We reported this as a rumor-- and it was. The mere fact that a Lubbock blog also reported it shows that it was a widespread rumor. My major point was that you guys needed to address it and confirm or deny. Which you have now done. Thanks.

  2. Read this on page 26 of the third quarter 10K.

    Do a search for the phrase: "In addition"

    Washington, D.C. 20549
    FORM 10-Q
    (Mark One)
    For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2008
    For the transition period from to
    Commission File Number: 333-112246
    Morris Publishing Group, LLC
    Morris Publishing Finance Co.*
    (Exact name of Registrants as specified in their charters)

    We have purchased a software license agreement to replace the print edition newspaper in education (“NIE”) copies at all of our newspapers with electronic editions in order to reduce our net production costs. In addition, we anticipate marketing electronic edition only copies to new subscribers and providing print subscribers free access to these electronic editions during the first six months of 2009.