Business · Central Valley · Media · Sports

Fresno Bee might as well ditch print edition

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Look, we get it. The Fresno State football team is having another abysmal season, and even the most ardent fans have stopped paying attention at this point. The team will be lucky to finish with three wins, head coach Tim DeRuyter is likely gone at the end of the season, and the stadium figures to be near-empty when Air Force visits on Oct. 28.

But it’s one thing for fans to stop following the team; it’s quite another when the local newspaper appears to have given up, as well. If you were hoping to pick up a copy of the Fresno Bee on Saturday morning and read about the Bulldogs’ 17-3 loss to San Diego State the night before, you were out of luck. Instead, there was a brief note at the top of the sports page asking readers to check out the paper’s online edition.

It’d be one thing if the game was a throwback to the WAC era, when games lasted five hours and ended with 55-48 scores. If that was the case, we might understand why the story didn’t make the morning paper. But this was a 7 p.m. start with a 17-3 final. It might’ve been one of the quickest — and certainly most boring — games in all of college football this season.

Surely there was time for the beat writer (Robert Kuwada) to file a quick game story before the last print deadline, no? Perhaps that first version would be sans quotes or any in-depth analysis, but at least readers would have something to review Saturday morning. An appetizer, if you will, before going online to read Kuwada’s full story and Marek Warszawski’s commentary.

Instead, we got nothing in the print edition. Not even a score. At first, I thought I was the only one bothered by this development, but at least one other reader found this a tad irritating.

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If you’ve been following the sad state of the Denver Post or newspapers in general over the past decade, you know this is a historically rough time for print media. People aren’t reading traditional newspapers anymore, and they’re not paying for much of the online content, either. So we have a lot of sympathy for those in the newspaper game; they’re battling an uphill battle that will surely worsen in the years to come.

That said, if you’re going to go to the trouble and expense of putting out a print edition, shouldn’t it include news from the biggest game/event from the night before? Shouldn’t you push the print deadline back a little to make that happen? Otherwise, you might as well just save some money and have an online-only operation.

It’s one thing for fans to stop following the team; it’s quite another when the local newspaper appears to have given up, as well.

At first, I thought this was just a Fresno State football thing, but Friday night’s high school football coverage is also getting bumped to Sunday’s print edition. So if you’re a local sports fan, there’s essentially no incentive to pick up a hard copy of the Fresno Bee to find out what happened the day before. Either go online to fresnobee.com or watch the local news, where sports anchors such as Tommy Tran, Andrew Marden, Julia Lopez and Chris Alvarez do an admirable job with their limited time.

With little hope of increase ad revenue, the Fresno Bee isn’t likely to change its approach anytime soon. So moving forward, we’ll stick to the online version and hope the Bee continues to expand its coverage there. And if they decide to shutter the print edition and focus solely on their online product, it might actually be good for everyone at this point.

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Fresno Bee might as well ditch print edition

  1. Postscript: The Fresno Bee responded via Twitter: “Our print deadline comes before night events are finished. But the daily Bee includes many features that readers still appreciate.”

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