When I read the front page of my South Bend Tribune this morning, I was shocked to see an article with the headline – "BEGINNING TODAY, LOCAL NEWS WILL LEAD THE WAY". Below is a link to the entire article, which clearly indicates that circulation and advertising lineage has fallen to a level that requires additional cost reductions. Note the story clearly admits the paper will be thinner in the future.
Recently I read an online story predicting newspapers will totally disappear in the future, and only a few will survive with paid on-line editions. Recently both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have inserted firewalls to their internet editions and require subscriptions for access to their total content. Sadly, I believe this is the future and I fear credibility issues will be hard to maintain unless one pays to gain access to reliable sources beyond the firewalls.
The South Bend Tribune’s action is just another blow to the fate and fortunes of the greater South Bend community and St. Joseph County. The city continues to lose population, unemployment is high, schools are failing, crime has grown to dangerous levels, and taxes are totally out of control. How the Democrat Party in St. Joe Country has continued its dominance is amazing, however for years they have held all the cards. Unfortunately, many in local government and the community in general still cannot get over that the Studebaker plant closed in the 1960s and times have changed.
Fortunately a new Mayor will be elected soon. In the meantime the current mayor, a Viet Nam era conscientious objector and former Vice Mayor to Joe Kernan, seems to spend every penny he can of the city treasury on frivolous projects; one favors his previous boss former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan’s minor league baseball team ($7 million, another the economically disastrous College Football Hall of Fame (which Kernan championed when mayor), $1 million dollars for a jumbo-tron to front the downtown PBS television station’s marquee (apparently for the cultural enrichment of the downtown ladies of the night), and now $1.2 million to buy a business and piece of property that is only valued at between $300,000-400,000 to provide extra land for the new football field of an Catholic High School.
Despite the fact that South Bend was recently named a "dying city" by Newsweek, weeks later it was named an All-American City by the National Civic League, it seems to me to be dying on the vine. Notre Dame University is the largest employer in the county, but it solely cannot be expected to save the adjacent City of South Bend.
The taxpayers know the truth and apparently the South Bend Tribune knows it too, because it is taking dramatic action to reduce coverage of national and international news in the interest of serious cost reductions and its survival. Adapt or perish are the necessary words of the day during this time of politically induced economic crisis in little old South Bend, and across the entire country.
If anyone told me twenty years ago that newspapers would vanish in their print newsstand form, I would have bet the ranch. Tragically that appears to be their destiny.