I began this post back in December, around the time I figured my Missoulian subscription was coming to an end. It didn’t (I have no idea why) so I didn’t have to implement this strategy.
So what is this strategy? It pretty much boils down to you getting all your Montana newspaper articles for free, legitimately, and at no cost.
Wow, that might be worth something, huh? Let’s get started.
This is how much all of that will cost you:
Sorry Lee Enterprises, but most print subscribers aren’t interested in digital, and vice versa. That’s not a selling point, so stop acting like it is. It’s more of a detriment, both to you and subscribers – they don’t want it and your revenue will suffer over the long-term as a result. You simply can’t shove nonsense down people’s throats, not when they don’t want it and not if you want to remain a viable going concern. Of course, historically, businesses that do that will see a rise in competition as others cater to what the market actually wants, not what you actually want.
And that’s why we have competition. Here are the major newspapers in the state of Montana:
- The Billings Gazette
- The Great Falls Tribune
- The Missoulian
- The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
- The Montana Standard
- The Helena Independent Record
- The Ravalli Republic
- The Havre Daily News
- Montana Senior News
- The Missoula Independent
- The Flathead Beacon
- The Kalispell Daily Inter Lake
Those are the leading papers in the state, in my opinion. If you were to get your 10 free articles a month from each of those papers, that’d give you 120 articles, or 4 a day.
You have to be very careful where you click, for you don’t want to ‘go over your 10’ on a paper that you like. Also, be very wary of Bitly links. People on Twitter love them. Perhaps it’s because they’ll have more of their 140 character limit, or maybe it allows them to squeeze that picture in. I never use them, and I pride myself on that. With my links, people know where they’re going, and they can see the name of the site. With Bitly links, you can’t do that. Thankfully, many social media posts from the major media will make it clear where you’re going. When other people share, however, it might not be clear.
By being conservative, you could save $200 a year and send a message to the newspaper industry brass that they can go screw themselves. Remember, you’re also telling that to the reporter, but how in the world are you going to ever affect the actions of the brass if you don’t take out their front lines first? (Reporters have made it clear they’re not going to fight for themselves). Besides, cutting your subscription does the same thing...just without the continued benefit that this strategy brings.
Since I know the Lee Enterprises strategy in Montana, I can take advantage of it and make it work for me. They’re a giant corporate behemoth, and I’m a small ant. They’ll not notice me going in and taking crumbs each day, so concerned are they over their larger piece of bread. So take those crumbs I will, and it means free news for me. It also means a cut in pay for reporters, though I blame them for that – report on your boss’s bonuses!
What do you do when there’s injustice in the workplace? You can speak out against it or you can do nothing. The former often leads to action, the latter leads to more misery for you and everyone. I saw this firsthand when I worked in China, and I spoke out. I lost my job because of it, and I’m thankful for that – why would I want to work at a company that doesn’t care about me? The problem for reporters is that a whole industry doesn’t care about them.
Lee Enterprises doesn’t care about its workers, so why should I? I mean, the bosses have a lot more invested in them than I, and those bosses treat those workers like dirt. Or is asking someone to take a 40% pay cut not treating someone like what’s on the bottom of your shoe?
When the brass is getting bonuses but the rank and file are getting pay cuts, the system is unjust. That’s when it’s time to topple that system. For when a system is not working for you, why does its complete destruction even matter? It doesn’t, it doesn’t matter to you at all…just those executives at the top that are dependent upon its inequities for their very survival. So topple the tower, and watch as the top brass scream long and loud on the way down.
Or is it better to just let things remain the same? We could be talking about any system here, but today we’re talking about Montana newspapers. You know that all of them do a copy/paste job from each other, so use that against them. Get the same articles on all the same papers, but do so for free.
They’ve set up the system, and we’ll simply work inside of it. Like a modern day sit-down strike, this media onslaught will have an effect. It’ll be painful, but it’s necessary.
Get your Montana news for free; tell the state newspapers it’s time for a change, a change at the top.
Perhaps, but I’m not buying it, nor do I really care. I’m the ant, remember, and I need my crumbs. I’m so small and insignificant in the overall scheme of things that I don’t even fathom how powerful my actions could be. Well, it’d take a whole colony of likeminded ants to bring about that power, and that’s what scares higher-ups more than anything – coordination and control. They’re used to having it, but they’re not used to having it turned against them. Good, use that, use that laziness and lack of preparedness against your opponents, whether it’s in business, politics or the media. It’s always better to let someone defeat themselves than to expend the effort to do it for them. Right now, Montana newspapers are defeating themselves.
Give them a friendly push down the road – stop paying for their product, but keep reading it at the same time. There’s nothing illegal about it, and they even encourage you to do so!
Television News Stations in Montana
KTMF – ABC/Fox Montana
KFBB – ABC/Fox Great Falls
KTVM – NBC Butte/Bozeman
KCFW – NBC Kalispell
KECI – NBC Missoula
KTVH – NBC Helena
KULR – NBC Billings
KBZK – CBS Bozeman
KPAX – CBS Missoula
KRTV – CBS Great Falls
KXLF – CBS Butte
Here’s what the homepages of those sites look like, to give you an idea of any similarities or differences:
Radio News Stations in Montana
KGVO News Talk is what I like in Missoula, and they have a very good website.
That’s right, this is a cool site you can listen to, hearing real people call in to give you an impression of how the news is being interpreted.
Besides that, it’s got a great programming line-up that includes Dave Ramsey financial advice and old episodes of Art Bell Coast to Coast (I skip the blathering GOP idiots they pack into the daytime slots). The bottom line is that this is a great source for free podcasts and up-to-date talk AM radio from Western Montana, free and online.
Northern News Network is another great radio station that has a quality website.
There you have it – newspapers, television and radio. Those are three sources you can use, and I’ve profiled 25 sites here. There are more, and if you’re smart and on a budget, you can make that work for you. Top media execs have made the current system work for them, but I’m afraid it’s not working for you or I. It’s certainly not working for what reporters are left, poor souls constantly looking over their shoulder, wondering when the axe will fall. I wish them the best of luck in this fast-paced media landscape.