“Hey, there’s a writers group in Plattsburgh.”
You’re looking through the arts listings, 8 Days A Week, in the Thursday edition of the Press-Republican. You call the telephone number in the item for more info. A recorded message tells you that the number you have dialed is disconnected or out of service.
You check with the Plattsburgh Public Library where the writers group allegedly meets. You find out there hasn’t been such a group for some time now. It’s kaput.
Thanks to deadwood in the PR arts listings, you have wasted time.
That’s because the PR doesn’t spend a little bit of time removing outdated listings. I did some checking; the Plattsburgh Writers Group (the second incarnation of it) has been dead since early 2009. But the PR keeps publishing the listing, too lazy to provide accurate information to its readers.
This is nothing new. For months it kept listing the Arts Council as if it was an active organization, even though it had faded away and was subsumed by the Arts Center.
Hyperlocal is the big buzzword is J circles. Since people can get their national and international news elsewhere – especially with the Web – to survive newspapers have to place more emphasis on keeping readers updated with local information – correct local information – that no one else provides.
The answer to the problem of the PR listings is simple. Have each organization or group send in a monthly update. No update, no listing. And don’t tell me that this can’t be done. I used to send in monthly updates for two different groups, including the original Plattsburgh Writers Group.
Keeping the listings fresh and accurate means that there’s more room for all groups. It should eliminate this stupid notice generally included on a weekly basis:
“Due to space limitations 8 Days A Week was unable to run in its entirety.”
Yes, when I want to use a listing, I want an incomplete one, especially one with deadwood items for dead groups.
After all, the PR is owned by Community Newspapers Holdings, Inc. Time to think about the community, huh? Put some work in staying connected with it.