National Press Club

It's Buy a Newspaper Day Today

February 2, 2009

About a month ago, a member of Facebook was feeling discouraged about the state of the newspaper industry. He came up with an idea: Buy a Newspaper Day.

As things do on Facebook, the idea took off, and Buy a Newspaper Day got 5,437 "yes" RSVPs. You don't have to be a Facebook member or have replie "yes" to join this show of support for on-paper newspapers.

Buy one today.

(Better yet: Subscribe!)

If you'd like to read how this all came about, here it is:

ORIGINAL POST

As the economy continues to deteriorate, one of the industries that is going to be most severely affected is the American newspaper industry.

The fact of the matter is that the biggest chains are deeply in debt. Major cities that have had at least two daily newspapers for more than a century, such as Chicago and Seattle, might soon find themselves with only one source of news. Other papers, such as those in Detroit are no longer providing daily home delivery. If things get really bad, some experts say that some small towns might not have any paper by 2010.

And that’s a shame. Unlike radio which has become dominated by opinion or TV news which only looks for the 30 second sound bite, the local newspaper digs deep every day to get you, the reader, the full story on what’s happening in your town.

The newspaper is heavily focused on local news. It keeps you informed about events in your town and keeps local government in-line.

So for one day, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, please make it a point to pick up your local newspaper (reading it online doesn‘t count).

It doesn't matter if it's a daily or weekly, right-leaning or left-leaning. If you're a college student and you get the school paper for free, buy the town paper. If you subscribe, why not pick up a second copy?

Who knows? You might like what you see and come back another day, and another, and another…

Please invite all your friends! Let’s see how many people we can make aware of this!

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Update 1/15/09 2,500 people can't be wrong!

About 72 hours ago I was sitting here in my apartment in Alaska (and before you ask, no, I can’t see Russia from here), reading about the plight of the American newspaper industry. But what can one lowly reporter do to at least slow the death of print journalism, I thought?

The answer I came to, is this event, Buy a Newspaper Day, Feb. 2, 2009.

I understand that in the near future newspapers will be mostly or completely online, but as I wrote in the event description, my fear is that given the current condition of the economy and the state of the newspaper industry, many papers may just have to close their doors completely before they’re able to make that transition.

Consider this one last great statement to try and boost readership and get people back in the habit of picking up their local newspaper on a daily basis. Since many local papers already have low circulations, just a small boost could keep a paper alive for several months, or save the job of one hard working journalist. If we can accomplish that, I’ll consider this event a huge success.

If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to invite every last one of your Facebook friends to this event.

But don’t just think of this as a Facebook movement, but rather a movement that began on Facebook. A good friend of mine is putting together a modest Web site, www.buyanewspaperday.com to further spread the word.

It also looks like many of you have media connections. Don’t hesitate to link to this new site or the Facebook event on your blogs or newspaper sites. Produce pieces for your publications and spread the word. Talk to your editors, and tell them to start putting together some great features for the Feb. 2 paper.

Feel free to message me directly with any questions, comments or concerns.

Good night and good luck,

Chris Freiberg