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SUNDAY INDEPENDENTTO COST £2 NEXT WEEK

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It seems the Sunday Independent is increasing its cost from £1.50 to £2 next week. A whopping 33% increase. The price rise was hidden away on page 28. It says it is going to have a 144 page edition starting this week – an unbeatable package of information and entertainment. Really. Yes they have increased coverage of other sports and are to be applauded for it.

I bought it this week to see if they had changed their reporting of local football. Sadly not. An example:

 

HELLENIC League 8 Divisions - ONE match report – nothing from Premier Division

WESSEX League 2 Divisions - 3 small reports

GLOUCESTER COUNTY League - Full review

WILTSHIRE Senior League - Full review

SOMERSET County League - 4 Divisions Plenty of scores NO scorers

BATH & DISTRICT League - Plenty of reports NO scorers

BRISTOL SUBURBAN League - plenty of matches few reports and even less scorers

DORSET League - plenty of matches few scorers

DEVON League - need I say more

DEVON & EXETER League - Same as above

NORTH DEVON League - not a single goal scorer

St PIRAN League - Incomplete in fact embarrassing

CORNWALL COMBINATION League - Best not to comment

EAST CORNWALL League – need I say more

DUCHY League – tried their best but very incomplete

TRELAWNY League – more incomplete rubbish

 

This papers lifeblood was built on local sport especially football. Offering someone a tenner to do a complete review is insulting. So what do we get. A saving of about £500 or in sales soon to be £2 of 250 papers. So how do they recoup that as well as paying out for HUGE great stories that readers lose track of after a few paragraphs. You got it, put the price up. Could this be the end of the paper that we all grew up with and loved under John Collins and Kevin Marriott. It was great when the paper was saved but unfortunately papers have to be sold to survive. Gone are the days when we regularly bought the paper just to read about our local club or see our names in print. Nope it is the delusional reasoning that seems to think that people will read ream upon ream of absolute tosh. Do people not realise that in today's world our attention span is much lower, we have the internet, twitter and facebook to deal with as well. But no, these people know best.

 

Look at the mess they have made of women's football. Could they not use bullet marks to separate different stories. It was the same when I wrote it, but no a simple bullet mark would have sufficed. It is the same in the men's game. Does anyone want to read through line after line to get to what they want to read about, their club, their name. It seems that County football in the women's game doesn't count any more because it is not being reported on. So nothing to read about in the Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire leagues. I asked the paper to have a separate page for Bristol City as they are the regions sole professional female club. Nah, seems like lack of interest. How on earth do you attract readers.

 

It is a shame but to increase the cost of the paper to people who don't see their club or names mentioned is nonsensical. They have a full set of results in the result section so why repeat the scores in a nonsensical round up. I used to put the scorers in for virtually every women's game. But no, they can't even be bothered to do that.

 

Any newspaper boss will tell you that sales are down and people have to work harder to attract new readers. The Indy is the only regional paper that reports on matches the day after. It isn't rocket science to try and attract readers. But no we have to plough through page after page of absolute drivel. Wake up Indy or it will all be gone.

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I decided to buy the Indy to see if it deserved the 50p increase. NOPE. Just the same old drivel. Page after page of absolute drivel. Do they not realise that people lose track after the third paragraph. The paper has gone from 70p up to £2.  Crazy.  It seems as if the paper has made the conscious decision to concentrate on the regions big clubs and ditch the local football. Which was what the paper was built on. They obviously think they will attract more readers following the top clubs than reading about local football. Yes they have increased coverage of other sports but once again as in the football coverage they cant even be bothered to use bullet marks to break up the stories. There seems to be a beginning and an ending but in between if you want to read about your team or club you have to scroll down through line after line of absolute waffle.

 

I mentioned before about coverage of local football. They use up page after page of results but hardly any match reports. Again no bullet marks or even a bold first letter for you to find out about your club or team.

 

When I wrote for the paper you were paid a fair payment for your work. But I along with most others were sent a new outline of fees we would be paid. Imagine my shock when we were offered a payment that was about a third of what you had previously received. You only have to look at the inept coverage of all leagues below the Peninsula League that I was not the only one who looked at that and thought, do you know what you try and do three hours work for a pittance and when you complain they say your services are no longer required. We had the boast of someone who patted himself on the back for getting in an almost full ECPL round up. That lasted a week. That league along with all the leagues below the Peninsula League are now shown as a round up of results. That tells me that all the other league reporters had decided – you must be taking the p**s.

 

Take the women's football section. It meanders through so called report after report without using bullet marks or at least a bold capital first letter so that people can actually find what they are looking for. And once again county football is a huge no go area.

 

It makes you wonder who actually edits the paper. There was a time when you had great Sports Editors such as Kevin Marriott and John Collins who flogged their guts out to produce the Sunday miracle. There used to be a different edition for each area such as Bristol, Devon and Cornwall etc so we didn't have to read about clubs in different areas that we had no interest in reading about. I have no idea if it is still split but I doubt it and I really don't care. Now we seem to have a pair of amateurs who have the management over the barrel by doing much of the work themselves thus making themselves indispensable. Are they just carving themselves extra credits on their CV's.

 

I am afraid after more years than I can remember the Indy will no longer be seen in my household. And I am sure there are many more like me. If you want to read about local sport then why not buy the Cornish Times. Got a great new Sports Editor in Nigel Walrond who knows the value of looking after readers of local sport. This is the last time I will be writing about this paper as it no longer interests me.  Now what can I spend the £2 on.  

 

 

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Indeed.

One might struggle to disagree.

 

The commercial value of Fixture Results is negligible during the modern era, barring a Kernowek- & Dumnonian-wide internet out-age.

Add to the lack of the inherent commercial value in a Results Service (because Twitter exists, FFS), the cost of doing business, merely in the amount of staffing time of those Staffers' drawn eyeballs and idle hands whilst accumulating/compiling said Results, alone, and it is clear that a business model predicated on comprehensive collation of results is on to a loser. Bigly.

The money's in the lesser-covered local news.

The money's in quality pieces and long-reads - even via Syndication, should the story or Copy merit it.

Quite how the locals & regionals have forgotten that people buy papers if they, or their loved ones, are actually in the damn things, is remarkable.

 

Plenty of people, mainly clubmen and supporters or itinerants & groundhoppers, would come forward to do short pieces and reports. Dozens and dozens do so in this very Parish, for one, upon a daily basis. Making money out of Print Media isn't the scientific application of Chemistry to Ballistics.

 

You're obviously equally aware of the situation as to the Staffing and Proprietorial positions, ECPL, so one needs only to point towards the track record in unrelated industries and 'having prior' as regards the latter of those two situations. Would add that remnant/rump Staff is greatly over-exerted, or at least what is left...and greatly under pressure, too.

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Living in North London, the digital edition Indy was a bit of a lifeline to what was going on with regards to the local scene. Had a subscription up until the end of last season, was thinking about keeping it going, but gave up after battling with the poor renewal section of the website for about 15 minutes.

On the broader topic of the decline of the local papers, a mate of mine used to work on the Evening Herald back in the days when it used to shift around 30,000 copies a day and employ a separate staff to the WMN. He told me that the writing was on the wall when websites like Ebay came along ,this was because a major earner for the paper was the classified sales ads. People stopped placing them ,preferring to sell things online themselves

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17 hours ago, Paloresow said:

Indeed.

One might struggle to disagree.

 

The commercial value of Fixture Results is negligible during the modern era, barring a Kernowek- & Dumnonian-wide internet out-age.

Add to the lack of the inherent commercial value in a Results Service (because Twitter exists, FFS), the cost of doing business, merely in the amount of staffing time of those Staffers' drawn eyeballs and idle hands whilst accumulating/compiling said Results, alone, and it is clear that a business model predicated on comprehensive collation of results is on to a loser. Bigly.

The money's in the lesser-covered local news.

The money's in quality pieces and long-reads - even via Syndication, should the story or Copy merit it.

Quite how the locals & regionals have forgotten that people buy papers if they, or their loved ones, are actually in the damn things, is remarkable.

 

Plenty of people, mainly clubmen and supporters or itinerants & groundhoppers, would come forward to do short pieces and reports. Dozens and dozens do so in this very Parish, for one, upon a daily basis. Making money out of Print Media isn't the scientific application of Chemistry to Ballistics.

 

You're obviously equally aware of the situation as to the Staffing and Proprietorial positions, ECPL, so one needs only to point towards the track record in unrelated industries and 'having prior' as regards the latter of those two situations. Would add that remnant/rump Staff is greatly over-exerted, or at least what is left...and greatly under pressure, too.

Isaac in disguise? 

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