The Decline & Fall of The Union Leader- a morality tale as to why print media is dying or is already dead - Granite Grok

The Decline & Fall of The Union Leader- a morality tale as to why print media is dying or is already dead

I used to subscribe to The Union Leader for delivery to my home in Gilford 6 days a week. But not anymore. For two major reasons.

First, starting with occasional failures to deliver the paper a couple of years ago, their very frequent failure to deliver their product to my mailbox on a regular basis, irrespective of whether the roads were clear or not, finally got to me and I cancelled my subscription.

Of course, when I was a subscriber, I naively assumed that when I went to my mailbox in the morning the paper would be there- but often it was not, I would call the Union Leader circulation department, they would apologize,and give me a credit, but I still had to go roaming around to a retail vendor in order to find the paper.  Inconvenient at best.

So now, when I want to read the paper, as thin as it has become, I buy the paper from a retail vendor in the area. I generally find it more useful for lining bird cages or wrapping dead fish.

I note that the Union Leader frequently mails me offers to re-subscribe. While it costs them money to mail these offers to me (which I immediately toss into the trash), it would seem to be a better business proposition for them to spend their money on improving their home delivery system, that is if they intend to try to remain in the print media business, a dubious proposition at best.

But more importantly, the Union Leader is dying, or some would say it is already dead, based on how they actually fill their news “hole,” that is the portion of the paper supposedly devoted to real news and not ads.

The Union Leader was once thought of as the most conservative newspaper in the country. Obviously no more.

One might reasonably wonder whether the paper actually has any real journalists on their staff any more, since a very large number of their stories have bylines indicating that they are actually reprints from either (a) The Washington Post, also known as The Washington Compost; or (b) the Reuters wire service, rather than having been written by actual Union Leader journalists. But in all fairness, they do have occasional stories originating from one highly-experienced stringer/part-timer based in the Lakes Region.

The final insult from The Union Leader to its declining readership is its editorial decision to provide large column spaces/soapboxes on their editorial and op-ed pages regularly to a former chair of the NH Democrat Party and a former chair of the NHGOP, the later of whom is probably the single person in the state whom most real members of the Republican Party think of as a prototypical RINO (Republican in Name Only).

No real Republicans could possibly believe that opinions set forth in these editorial or op-ed columns by the former, highly-discredited, chair of the NHGOP are truly reflective of Republican Party values.

Unfortunately, the Union Leader now stands out for being an excellent example of why print media is dying or is dead.

It is very sad to see a once great newspaper fall into such decline.