Getting All The News That’s Fit to . . . Transmit Electronically.

We all know that newspapers are in trouble. People don’t want to pay for the print editions anymore because they can get the news for free on line.

The problem is, it really isn’t free. Someone has to pay the journalist to cover the event, get the interviews, do the research, and write the story. Why don’t people understand that?

It doesn’t matter if the paper is big or small. They’re losing circulation and they’re all cutting back. Take our Maui News, for example. It’s a small paper with a circulation of about 18,000. Not so great for an island with something like 145,000 people. It’s published seven days a week and, last I heard, they were down to five reporters.

Still, I hear people grumbling all the time about being told they will have to start paying to read a publication on line. Strange, isn’t it? These are the same people who routinely paid to have a hard copy of the same newspaper tossed up onto their front porch every day for decades.

If you’re into news and sports, though, paying to get it from the internet can add up. I currently subscribe to the on-line versions of the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Add DirecTV and their Major League Baseball package to that and, well . . . ca-ching, ca-ching!

Still, it would be hard for me to cancel any of them. The New York Times is still the Gold Standard for national and international reporting and I appreciate several of their editorial columnists (not to mention the Times’ deliciously thorough coverage of that big bully across the Hudson in New Jersey, Chris Christie). I need the Boston Globe for their extensive coverage of the Red Sox, especially during the off-season. And as pitifully shallow as it is, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser is still the only way I have of keeping up with things in the town where I lived and worked for some 40 years.

But I still have a need to open up The Maui News every morning with my cup of Hawaiian coffee (the best in the world, by the way). There isn’t any major news in there that I haven’t already read on line in the Times, and the local news is mostly about petty crime and high school sports.

But it’s an actual by-God, printed-on-real-paper newspaper!