Having been a daily newspaper reader for life; growing up with the St. Louis Globe-Democrat in southern Illinois and a subscriber to the Peoria Journal Star upon moving to Peoria in 1970 has prompted me to write this comment in regards to the Community Word article: Journal Star dances with Wall Street – again. My wife and I are regular morning paper readers. Since GateHouse Media has purchased the Journal Star in 2007 the newspaper has been in dramatic decline. The physical size of the newspaper has been reduced, but what is most dramatic, is the sheer lack of articles. For example, today’s newspaper, Monday, August 5, 2019 has 18 pages of news articles (with advertising interspersed). It has 2 full pages of obituaries, 1 page of comics, 1 full page of Legal Notices (usually more) and 1 full page of an Audibel hearing aid ad and 5 full pages of automobile ads …does anybody buy those cars? Each daily paper has at least 5 or 6 full pages of car ads at the end that, I guess, gives the newspaper a “feel” of a larger paper. Not even close. This is not the newspaper of yesterday. It truly lacks in its scope of news considering the sheer size of the Peoria market. Tomorrow’s paper will be even smaller. I am not impressed with the Journal Star.
Another complaint I have is how the newspaper itself is organized. It is all over the place. The one thing you can count on will be 5-6 full pages (sometimes more) of car ads at the end. I wonder what these car dealers pay for these full-page ads. I can hardly believe they generate car purchases. However, as it relates to the actual news articles in the paper; the organizational nature of what was once a great newspaper, has become mediocre at best.
We seriously considered not renewing for this current year but decided to give the Journal Star one more year. Why? Maybe its because we both grew up on daily newspaper reading and until now, had found it essential to our everyday lives. However, the newspaper under GateHouse Media’s ownership has us seriously considering not renewing for next year.