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Elections, Magazines and Surveys

As I write this we are only days away from the next “big” election. Along with this comes a high level of anxiety among the populace that, in some cases, is alleviated somewhat by the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series.

Not having even basic cable TV service, I can only begin to imagine the frustration, confusion and feelings of helplessness that the massive barrage of political ads helps to manufacture. Thanks again to Justices Scalia, Roberts, Alito, Kennedy and Thomas for enabling so much unaccounted-for cash to dominate the election noise this year. Unfortunately the small media outlets such as this magazine are not the recipients of so much cash in the form of advertising revenue. All that money goes to the big boys at the TV and radio networks. And what a coincidence that a “close race” adds even more to their coffers. We can only hope they use some of that money to hire actual investigative reporters, rather than repeaters. More likely it will be used to fill the coffers of the CEOs, but so it goes.

That’s all I’m going to say about the upcoming election. Many of our contributors this month have plenty to weigh in on concerning the current state of politics, so I’ll take a pass. For the record though, I will note that my ballot has already been cast, and I did not vote for the serial liar.

Big news on the magazine front: citing declining revenue from print advertising, Newsweek, after 80 years in the business, has decided to toss in the paper towel, opting instead for a digital version. Good luck with that one, Tina. The current editor claims that “this is not the right medium anymore to produce journalism.”

What are we here at Colorado Central to make of that statement? Well, first off, based upon the results of our recent survey, most of our readers prefer a tangible product and aren’t too thrilled by any talk of going digital. One of the advantages of smaller, niche-market publications like ours is that you cannot find our content anywhere else. When I first sit down with my cuppa Joe in front of the computer most mornings, one of the first things I do is scan the Washington Post, New York Times, Google News, The UK Independent, and one of my favorites,

Indeed, our website, is full of great information with over 1,600 pages of content generating more than 150 unique visits per day, yet, on average, it only makes a couple hundred dollars a year, mostly through ad click-thrus. Not a reliable model for long-term profit.

What does this hold for the future of print media? Honestly, only the United States Postal Service knows for sure.

Speaking of surveys, we did glean a bunch of useful information from our recent survey – as well as some mixed messages. Many of our readers would like to see more politics. Others said they’d like to see fewer politics, so I guess we’ll just keep on as we’ve been doing since Colorado Central, from its inception, has never shied away from affairs of governance.

One pleasant surprise from the survey was the interest in our publishing more historical content. As a history buff I couldn’t be more pleased with that, so look for more of that in future issues.

Of course, surveys are only as good as the folks responding to them, so we took all the information gathered with the proverbial grain of salt but did discover some common themes that will help us chart the future of our publication as we navigate the rough seas of the 21st century.

Lastly, congratulations to Susan Schoch and Bob Smith of Idledale, Colorado who won a night’s stay at the Palace Hotel. Also, Al Rule and Jane Browning of Howard, and Gloria and Irv Broudy of Salida, who won gift certificates for some fine food at The Fritz restaurant. Thanks again to all who responded to our survey. – Mike Rosso