Thousands of Orange County Register subscribers haven’t received their newspapers for the past few days (stories by the L.A. Times, O.C. Weekly and O.C. Register), so I thought it would be helpful to list some other ways those customers can get the news they’ve been missing.
The most obvious solution is to use the internet. People could visit the Register’s web site. They could go to Google and search for Orange County news. They can be more specific and query the search engine for news in their particular city.
For those married to the print medium, the Register has said that (paying) subscribers can visit the office in Santa Ana to pick up a “free” copy of the paper. People can also visit their local convenience store or hunt down a rare newspaper vending machine and purchase a copy of the Register or a competing publication.
Unfortunately, none of my suggestions are good ones.
Visit the Register’s Facebook page, or search Twitter for mentions of @ocregister. Customers have been using social media to complain about the problem. So-called “print customers” obviously know how to use the internet and social media. They know how to find the Register on Twitter. They know how to find the Register on Facebook. It’s safe to assume they know how to visit the Register website and read the news there.
The vocal print subscribers who use social media to complain about distribution problems don’t seem interested in a digital solution. Post after post makes it clear. They want what they signed up for, a newspaper delivered to their doorstep.
If there’s one thing this delivery debacle has taught us, it is this: there is a real demand for newspapers, even among people who use the internet and social media.
What’s the lesson?
So, if for some news consumers there is no substitute for printed news, what should the Register and other newspaper organizations take away as a lesson from this experience? I want to hear what you have to say. Leave a comment below or strike up a conversation on Twitter, where you can find me @ksablan.