Not the most dramatic, shocking or even surprising event, Thanet Times last edition, which has sort of just petered out, with a brief fizzle of nostalgia at the very end, one can only imagine the professionalism required to bash out the last edition of a newspaper that had existed for well over a hundred years. Migration of readers from paper to electronic screens has resulted in papers like Thanet Times no longer being viable.
A maudlin event for the local community, a loss, where else, are we to learn of events mid week, with respect to Thanet extra, and the "virtual" newspaper yourthanet they ain't likely to fill the void, assuming that they don't also disappear.
I presume a significant number of those of us for whom such things matter, will have learnt of the papers end via the electronic media, to be honest I cannot recall precisely, where and when I read the comment posted on Thanet online mentioning the demise, still lets no go to far, this event is hardly in the "where were you when JFK died ?" league and yes I am old enough to answer that and I dare say some readers wont have a clue.
Currently having a few days off, still Monday evening wandering round Leicester Square, Covent Garden between having a pub meal and seeing Paul Merton at a nearby theatre, I was pondering on how many of the population are now addicted to their digital devices phones, laptops and tablets, an extreme had to be the Muppet stumbling around in the dark around Covent Garden, with a flipping iPad in front of his face using some augmented reality app.
Throughout Monday I noticed how people on the trains, buses and in the street were connected either texting or partaking of social media etc. We're probably all more clued up than was once the case, we suck up news from all over, and yet ironically the news media are suffering, how can this be.
Newspapers (printed) have always earned much of their money from advertising revenue, advertisers paying on the basis of the quality of reader, popularity and position, so what's gone wrong? or more importantly how can profits be boosted for the ailing news industry, questions that need to be answered if we are to see reliable news locally. Clearly publishers need to do a lot more to "monetize" websites, and perhaps us consumers ought to accept that some way news is a product, produced by journalists who need feeding.
I've recently subscribed to the Times/ST website for a variety of reasons, one since I frequently work Sundays, I hate getting home to find a couple of pounds of newspaper requiring attention, I can read the paper on the phone, my favorite bits during a break or the trip home, and the bits I'd glance at, on the laptop later in the week, the big benefit is it's cheaper, the other is as a hoarder I don't get challenged by Mrs Me demanding "can I throw these out" referring to a mountain of supplements. I still buy papers notably the "i" during the week @ 20p this has to be the bargain of all time, a concise newspaper with no tits and bums or moronic waffle concerning air head bimbos or airhead celebs, just news.
Anyway I've waffled on a bit here, but like most, will miss the Thanet Times for it's uniqueness, clearly different from its counter part, the Gazette a bit more direct and popularist (not a word according to the spell checker) anyhow we need professionals and lets hope that this is the last cut to local news, since once your local paper has gone it's gone. Nothing will replace professionals who have the skills and time to develop a story so why not support them by buying a copy of your newspaper, and when visiting a newspaper website, click on the adverts.
Sorry to see the Times go, a professional quality local newspaper a bit better than your typical blog such as Bignews Margate or Thanet Life, still it's a ill wind that blows nobody any good and I see that Cllr Simon Moores has this to say "I've rescued the top-level domain, www.thanettimes.com and after a short period of virtual mourning for the title, that first started in 1896, The Thanet Times will be resurrected here with perhaps a new look to match." I can't wait, I just wonder how Northcliffe Media who presumably still own the copyright to the title, will view Simon cobbling together a Thanet Times resurrected, dotcom or not.
Anyhoo as you stare into your device, laptop, tablet or phone, at home, traveling to work, don't forget there really are no free lunches and as papers close publishers will dump journalists and eventually you'll end up with just a ragbag of opinionated middle age gits like me who's qualifications include a I think English CSE grade Z ( not entirely sure but it was very poor). You get what you pay for in this life and you'll be more than aware that this cost you nothing.