Now, I could pay to get this back. I’m sure all of you are paying.
The thing is…I haven’t been paying for 6 months, at least.
That’s right – I got a pretty good deal from the Missoulian. I’ve only ever paid them $50, and that was back on March 5, 2014.
So…why did my subscription last this long, more than a year? After all, most people have to pay $12 a month for that crappy newspaper. Why did I get special treatment?
Because the Missoulian made money from me. They got linkbacks and article interest and increased readership because of me. They also got a ton more social media traffic because of me.
Yeah, that’s what happens when you write local news and use that newspaper as your main reference. It’s also what happens when you share their articles socially.
I suppose over the past year or more that paper has received more than 1,000 different links from me. This means people from all over the state are going to that paper at least once a month to get their information, all because of me, because of a link they click on in one of my articles – the reference.
I won't be modest about this.
Why else do you think I’d be allowed to read the online newspaper for free when everyone else has to pay $12 or more?
Let's look at the flip side.
Why do you think they cut that access off today, more than 6 months after my subscription ended, and not at some earlier time?
I asked that, both in email and on Twitter, but I got no reply.
I think those are good questions, but you know what, no one cares.
Most people don’t care about the news or issues or how they can make their life better. They care less about Montana news.
I write about these things, but what’s the point?
Well, that writing about issues won’t happen anymore. Yes, the Missoulian has done me in.
Big Sky Words
The paper cut me off, and let me tell you, it is a significant blow.
Yes, this hurts.
However dismal the Missoulian’s efforts are, they are one of the few local sources that I can rely on.
They're consistent in their lack of quality, and I know that at 8 PM every night they’ll have something new for me (or at least new for them, as other sources often beat them).
Now I have to find other sources.
It’s not a death blow for my efforts, but it is a setback. Lesser setbacks have felled stronger and sturdier businesses than mine, but this one will not topple me. It might faze me a bit, but I’ll get over it.
It’s really a hassle more than anything.
It was easy and convenient to go to the Missoulian. I knew the site and how it worked. I knew the reporters and what their specialties were.
Now I have to start over, or at least better acquaint myself, with the Missoulian’s competition.
Yep, I’ll have to fall back on my strategy of getting news for free.
Oh yeah, don’t think I didn’t see this coming.
I wrote a post back in May called Tired of Paying for News? Get It Free Each Month with These 25 Montana Media Outlets because I knew one day the Missoulian would find me less useful.
And I’m sorry, but did you think I was going to pay for news?
Let me ask you this:
Would you pay for this site, Big Sky Words?
No, you wouldn’t.
At the same time you know full-well that the content I put here often dwarfs that which the Missoulian is capable of.
You pay for their content, you pay $12 a month for that, or similar in your neck of the woods.
How does that make you feel? Do you think you’re getting a good deal?
Newspapers are dying, their staff are becoming less talented, and you pay the price…in more ways than one.
Has the quality of the reporting you read each day gone up the same as the cost?
I don’t think so. And if that’s truly the case, why do you stand for this?
Because there’s nothing else you can do. You have no options. It’s take what they give you or get nothing at all.
I feel they made the decision to cut me off yesterday, when I wrote my post about the Missoula County jail problems. After that they decided that I wasn’t good for the political machine that gives them so much patronage.
It’s just corruption, and bad business. We’ve seen the stellar editorial skills that Matthew Bunk has brought to the fold. It consists of new advertising that interrupts your reading experience with annoying sounds and expanding videos, that’s about it.
Can the guy write? I’ve yet to see anything with his name on it. I suppose I won’t be now, as I’ll just be visiting the paper for 10 articles a month.
Oh well, no biggie – I can use other media sources without difficulty. There’s no point in me giving traffic to the competition. On top of this I was moving away from Montana politics anyway.
Hey, I left the Democratic Party – what else is there for me?
The GOP is hopeless because they only care about rich people and racism. Their idiocy about government shutdowns is also off-putting. Democrats are the same, however, just with better marketing.
Plus…why? Why write this stuff? No one reads it.
Alright, a few hundred people will read a post over 3 to 4 days. I get that in 3 hours when I write about business.
It’s clear – I need to do what’s best for me, not what’s best for Montana.
Maybe I can combine both – my John Colter books seem popular, and maybe one day this will boost tourism and interest in the state. That’s a lot more effective than me doing some 9 to 5 job in Helena in the tourism office.
I’m not at all guilty about expressing this sentiment that I’m more useful to the state than most. Hell, I finished a 500-page book about the state’s history a month ago that none of you bought.
We know what I’ve done for Montana…what have you done lately?
How about your representatives?
No, Montana can fend for itself, it has for some time.
These dumb-heads that are in control of the state right now will be gone one day. I and many other younger people will still be here.
And don’t forget how quickly those grade school kids turn into voters. The Montana Legislature is an inviting place for ambitious youth.
So there’s not much to get worked up about. The Missoulian did me a favor today – now I can focus on what’s good for me and my family.
What’s good for you and yours?
Well, go check out the Missoulian for that. I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.
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Looking at Montana Newspapers and Readership (Feb 1, 2015)
Quality Montana Reporters (May 9, 2015)
Troubles at the Missoulian (May 28, 2015)
Looking at Montana Newspapers and Media Strife (June 14, 2015)
Doing Research at the Montana Historical Society (August 20, 2015)
Montana Media Sources: The Good, Bad, and Worthless (August 26, 2015)