The Town Talk has been part of Alexandria and Central Louisiana for over a century. Beginning as a small weekly to a large daily newspaper.
It has effected all of our lives in one way or another. I remember fondly my time as a paper boy rushing after school to pick up my route papers at their delivery point and folding them in a square fold that thew well. A good paper boy could place their paper, throwing it from his bike any where he wanted with precision. It was my first real job and put spending money in my pocket for a movie or a comic book or any thing a young teenage kid desired. Being a paper boy was a big deal back then. There was a waiting list to get the job and stiff competition for the better routes. I wish my children could have had that learning experience. The Town Talk converted to a morning paper and that ended the era of the old fashioned paper boy.
Other changes came and went. The paper was sold to a big national company and lost its local ownership and something else in the sale.
Pride in local ownership and reporting “our” news. Small town news around us. Small events in our day to day society. Those things gradually disappeared. “Not worth reporting on, was heard a lot.” Little Sam Somebody celebrated his 6th birthday yesterday. Attending were:
Alice Person, John Someone, etc. A good time was had by all attending… Those small human interest story’s became too trivial to report on.
The shopping report with Sally Homemaker. Where to find the freshest meat or vegetables in town.
The reporters from all the small towns who filed their story’s on the city hall meetings in Bunkie or Lecompte disappeared.
Reporters were laid off. Even the classified’s were cut back. Services were dropped in the name of cutting expenses
Local stories began to only center on government and what was considered important to keep advertisers happy.
As the big paper publishing company cut expenses to make more profit from advertising, local subscribers to the once popular paper began cancelling.
So more cuts were made to firm up their bottom line, “profit”".
As electronic’s progressed, it became apparent that if you make up a “form paper” with stock national news and then inserted a few local stores and changed the masthead to a different name.
Low and behold you can cheaply make a generic news paper that can be printed in one location for a number of different towns and city’s.
Wow, all you need now is one or two reporters to do local news story and a sales staff of three or four .
You no longer need to print the paper in the town of its origin.
Your expenses are cut by 3/4 and your profit soars at the cost of what a newspaper was created to do.
What do you end up with?
A generic newspaper for the masses that in no way shape or form resembles what the Town Talk was founded to do.
I know it’s founders are spinning in their graves and the current owners are skipping happly to the bank.
The end results..We no longer have a local news source.
At the present time, that is what is happening..The Town Talk is being buried.
I wonder if the staff there is aware of their future?
Would you like to borrow my crystal ball?
Rest in peace old fellow, you served Alexandria well.