Readers lament the loss of a daily paper in Pascagoula
By Doug Walker
By Doug Walker
Big changes are under way in the newspaper industry. Later this year, the daily Mississippi Press in Pascagoula will begin only publishing a paper three days a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
That paper joins four others, including the Times Picayune in New Orleans on the Mobile Press Register in Mobile, AL, in shifting to a reduced physical presence. Even though the decision is final, many readers are lamenting the loss of a time honored tradition.
At the Annex Restaurant in Pascagoula, Gwyn Ewing enjoys a hot breakfast with a paper in hand. Newspapers are increasing their efforts online, but that doesn't matter to Ewing.
"You're missing the whole picture when you just go online because we get the news as a matter of a search instead of having all the options the newspaper presents to you," Ewing said.
Her father John Jolly agrees.
"I think it's primarily a loss to the community, but it's a loss to the country, as well. We need an informed citizenry," Jolly said.
Richard Lucas is a local business executive.
"It's extremely unfortunate. So many of us really depend on our local newspaper for news," he said.
But for Lucas, and many others, the newspaper offers something that can never be replaced.
"Just the feel of the local newspaper. We talk about going online, but it's not the same," Lucas said. "It won't be quite the same because you need clips. You need clips on refrigerator doors, you need to send clips to people."
"It's a ritual that I go through every morning to have my first cup of coffee and read the paper," Pascagoula Mayor Robbie Maxwell said.
Gareth Clary, Executive Editor at the Mississippi Press, said he realized a while back that this kind of change was inevitable.
"I've been in the newspaper business for 33 years, have ink in my blood, and it's sad to see some of the things that are happening. But you have to know that the news business is changing," Clary said.
One thing, however, will stay the same in Jackson County.
"Our Pascagoula office is not changing. We're going to be here, we're going to have a staff here of reporters and advertising salespeople."
And with that staff, the shift begins in earnest from the daily paper to online.
The changes at all the newspapers, including the Mississippi Press, take place beginning October 1st. Those changes are coming with layoffs, like the ones that happened in Louisiana and Alabama Tuesday.
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