Friday, November 28, 2014  
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A comment by Joe Lee III

   The Jackson airport is now going to have a permanent regularly-scheduled non-stop fight directly to Washington, D.C. A lot of folks don’t realize what a boon this is to our state.
   The flight, which had been operating on a temporary basis, makes it a lot more convenient for city, county, and state politicians and agency personnel to hop a plane at taxpayer expense, spend a few days at a high-price Washington hotel at taxpayer expense so they can beg for more federal money -- provided, of course, by taxpayers.
   “This flight will continue to benefit civic leaders, the business community, advocacy groups, schools and tourists throughout Central Mississippi,” U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson said in a news release.
   Lord knows we certainly need more advocacy groups to have easier access to our state.

Encouraging news
   We just read that they are doing seismic tests on Ross Barnett Reservoir.
   That has to be comforting to folks downstream!

Nawlins fights for print
   New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, football great Archie Manning and U.S. Sen. David Vitter are among the heavyweights fighting to keep a daily printed newspaper in New Orleans.
   “No digital platform, no matter how good, can completely replace a printed daily in substance, use, and significance to the community. This is particularly true in large, important segments of the population.” Vitter said in a letter to the owners of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
   Of course, he is right, and recent declines and stalls in web-based advertising and the internet’s lack of news credibility are proving that very point. Print readership is beginning to see a resurgence, even as the magic of the internet and it’s lack of economic effectiveness are becoming more obvious with each quarterly report.
   A viable printed newspaper is vital to a small town and to a big city. As the big retail chains and tax-free internet shopping continue to kill out the mom and pop stores, the retail community in some towns cannot no longer support a daily printed product, but one would hope city the size of New Orleans would not fall below this threshold.
   Perhaps Newhouse will take this opportunity to sign up some of these protestors to long-term print advertising contracts that would allow the seven-day printed product to remain profitable in today’s rising production costs and delivery costs. (Name one other tangible product you can have delivered to your home for a dollar or less.)
   In a small town with limited resources, a strong once or twice a week publication is more effective for advertisers than a weak daily effort.
   Smaller weekly newspapers actually have the edge in today’s market. They go after the  “big” local stories -- the biggest cabbage, the first deer, the champion library reader, vital school bus route schedules, etc. Big newspapers have been slow to recognize the importance of community journalism and antiquated production practices have made such a format difficult and expensive for them.

Dear Mr. President
   President Obama recently said that folks who run small businesses don’t succeed on their own and get a lot of help from the government and others. I am planning the following letter:
   Dear. Mr. President:
   Please send me the name of the person in Washington who is going to send me the money to cover payroll during the slow weeks each January and July.

Publisher@GrenadaStar.com


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