Wednesday, November 29, 2023


News in Fresno reflects, I think, changing times

This was the front page of The Fresno Bee the other day.

I am not sure why I found this story so depressingly odd. It’s right on the front page of the newspaper. It’s news, yes, but I wondered why it was placed in the most prominent position in the newspaper. Sensational, yes. I guess that’s probably the reason. It might help sell some papers on the newsstand, although a single copy of the ever-so-slim periodical is $2, which I can’t imagine is attracting too many takers.

As someone who grew up loving newspapers and always being involved with them in one way or another, I sometimes think I am having a bad dream when I see what they have become.

It’s very sad to watch them trying to stay relevant with only skeleton staffs. I don’t expect The Fresno Bee will be around much longer. Along with the other central California Bee papers (published by McClatchy) it will very soon stop publishing a Saturday edition – a very bad sign.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Thomas (@guest_61100)
3 years ago

It’s funny to me that newspaper prices keep going up and the quality/quality keeps going down. I finally gAve up and quit subscribing. Now ,constantly they keep e mailing me to re up. $3 a month for 6 months and sometimes cheaper. Now I’ve come to do without so no thank you. I really don’t think we will see newsprint much longer. No advertising means no money. And it just keeps getting worse. Too bad. I and many of us ” old people ” enjoyed the paper in our hands. And now do you do a crossword puzzle on a screen?

Denny Wagaman (@guest_60463)
3 years ago

Our local paper the Walla Walla Union Bulletin (owned by the Seattle Times) has become smaller. But I think it is doing a great job of giving us a majority of local news (IMHO ). Yes we have a lot of state wide news too which is good and of course some National News. I think Frank Blethen is doing a great job with the local publisher of giving us the news the most of us that live here and have a vested interest want. We don’t have a local tv Station (50 miles away) but it gives us our weather and some local news but not much. Newspapers are having major problems throughout the Us. Too many people either don’t care what’s happening and or think they get the local news on the radio or online. But it’s not the same as sitting down relaxing and reading the paper page by page reading the obits, the police report, comics, editorial page with letters to the Editor and local happening from arrests to sports particularly the local school sports info, real estate ads, and grocery ads, furniture ads etc.etc.

I would pay more for my subscription if asked.

Ed Hibbs (@guest_60455)
3 years ago

Living in the Fresno area I can tell you that most of us stopped taking the Fresno Bee years ago due primarily to the negativity and agenda they were pushing. Much of what they write about is worded in a fashion to fit their slanted agenda that many would construe as being wrong. Their stories seem to have a need for sensationalism. Really!!!

The Sacramento Bee is the same way. BTW, last time I looked most stories in the Fresno Bee seemed to be AP articles or written by a Sacramento Bee writer rather than by local people. The paper has became smaller and smaller to the point that there is not much left. Maybe if they actually started reporting more about the local news, stop being so negative and stop pushing one sided agendas they could appeal to more readers. A while back I decided that I needed to eliminate some negativity from my life and life got much better not reading the newspaper every day.

Separately, it would appear that with circulation dropping and needing to keep up advertising revenue that they started sending out a strictly advertising “newspaper” in pink wrappers that looked just like the newspaper except for the wrapper color and thrown on every driveway on a weekly basis. That created a lot of neighborhood discussion as we all hated that they were littering our driveways and our neighborhood. Numerous phone calls and letters finally got them to stop it, at least in our neighborhood where they are no longer seen. But, we still get their ads only now they collectively mail them to us along with all the other mail. We can live with this.

Sink Jaxon (@guest_60418)
3 years ago

Yeah. Sometimes, maybe at the barber shop I pick up a “newspaper” and the stories are mostly days old. I guess that was the way it always was, but I’m spoiled now with internet aggregate news links and satellite radio, with up to the minute reporting. Immediate sources of what is going on around the entire world! I remember reading an article about how the newspapers around the country thought their demise would come from the television back in the 1940’s. They managed to hang in there for another 60 or so years. And I do buy a $2 paper from time to time. In the winter…
To use to light the kindling in my wood stove…

Gray (@guest_60406)
3 years ago

It’s becoming obvious that “the paper” is no longer relevant to our lives, as fragmented and divided as we’ve become. Only “the news” that relates to our tribe, our view, our position, is relevant, and that is no longer ink on a page that’s out of date and irrelevant even before it’s delivered. And even in years past it was mostly canned copy lifted from the newswires, with little local relevance.

Face it. We’ve got a few national-scope newspapers with struggling staff who are quoted daily on ‘fast-breaking’ cable TV news shows. And that’s it.

The local paper on our US island is owned by a Canadian conglomerate. Nothing appears in that paper which would upset local political or chamber of commerce sensibilities. It’s mostly a puff-piece rag with an 80-percent advertising ratio, stuffed with throw-away flyers. I’d have no reason to miss it if it ever goes away, no more than I’d miss the handsful of throw-away flyers that fill our mail box every day.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_60327)
3 years ago

Especially when the “Saturday Edition” is the ONLY edition . . .

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