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Natchez, Mississippi

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Updated the 2nd Wednesday of each month



The Rinaldi Report:

This recent four-year term of the Adams County Board of Supervisors will go down in modern history as memorable. To paraphrase, "Never has so little been done by so few and cost so much."

Walter Williams commentary:
Gaza is home to Palestinian people, who have suffered injustices and have a history of legitimate grievances against both Israel and Arab governments.

The Miss-Lou’s breaking news:
Medina Scirocco has been promoted to sales manager of Miss-Lou Magazine, The Natchez Sun and XPress. The latest U.S. Census estimates show Adams County is still losing population. McDonald's "Coffee for a Cause" program has raised more than $3228 so far this year. Block High will celebrate its 100th anniversary on April 25 with a day filled with events.

The Advice Goddess:
Saying you won't have kids for "moral reasons" sounds better than these reasons: They can be loud, sticky, and expensive.

Terry Savage on money:
It's human nature to want to get that Social Security check as soon as possible. But though collecting sooner rather than later is tempting -- and may very well be the right move for some -- your monthly benefit will be higher if you can be patient.

Rallie McAllister on health:
Many people ask me what my most important task is. Without question, it is helping people die with dignity, in comfort and surrounded by those they love.

Thomas Sowell thinking clearly:  
By abandoning virtually all its demands for serious restrictions on Iran's nuclear bomb program, the Obama administration has apparently achieved the semblance the beginning of a tentative framework for an eventual agreement with Iran.

Best buys classifieds:

Buy, sell or trade. Market your goods and services to readers in the Miss-Lou area and across the U.S.A.

Tourists and pilgrims welcome:
Spring is in full swing. While it's still cold and nasty up north, temps here are in the 80s. It's time to visit Natchez and Vidalia.


Win cash or prizes!

Our $500 cash winner is so happy. Who won our contest?


More good writing:
There's more good writing on www.natchezsunxpress.com. Local news, commentary, features and cartoons. Look for Michael Barone and Michelle Malkin.



Guest Commentary:

Information sellers still searching
by Charlie Mitchell

    Twenty-seven cents.
That’s what a newspaper in Canada has decided to charge per story for viewers who visit its digital edition and scroll around for news and information.
Customers will create an account. Their selections will be tracked, and their credit cards will be charged for each click.
    The name of the Winnipeg newspaper is the Free Press.

But no press is free. Those who gather “content” (a loathsome word to journalists) must eat, pay rent and car notes just as other humans do. They like to get paid.
    By now, we all know the financial arrangement that sustained print and broadcast media companies for many decades has been diluted. The major source of money for media operations came from advertisers who found it beneficial to piggyback their messages with news and entertainment.
    As more and more people shop online for jobs, homes, cars, clothing and other consumer needs, advertisers’ dollars are being spent more broadly.
    Media companies created and keep ramping up their Internet offerings, but the advertising hasn’t followed — at least not dollar for dollar. Think about it. When a shopper is looking for, say, a ladder, the shopper visit websites of stores that sell ladders. Stores have a diminishing need to pay media outlets to tout their products.
    So, for at least 15 years, media companies have been casting about for other revenue streams.
    One approach by newspapers and magazines has been to increase subscription prices. Not too long ago, newspapers sold for a quarter. Now, some are $2 per copy.
    When media companies started websites, the vast majority imposed no fees or charges of any type. Circulation directors complained about this, pointing out it was not easy to sell a product to some people while others were getting it free, but “free news” became the expectation of the public.
    Gradually, print media companies inflicted “pay walls” on readers. They vary greatly, some offering a little time on the site before a person is told to pay or go away. Others say “pay or go away” immediately.
    All sorts of consequences ensued. For one thing, there was public outrage over being “gouged” by “greedy” media companies. For another, there are so many alternative sources. If a person who wants to know the score of last night’s baseball game visits the local newspaper website and hits a pay wall, the person can click away and find the score someone else … Twitter, the school website … tons of “free” options. A media company can’t really expect a person to pay unless there is exclusive “content” a viewer really wants to see.
    Now along with all of this, major changes have evolved in how consumers do their research and make their buying decisions. People tend to want facts, especially for major purchases. They don’t really care whether they are looking at information offered by a manufacturer (formerly called advertising copy) or by a neutral product reviewer. People will read articles and customer comments about resorts or cars or exercise equipment to get the information they seek, and they really don’t care who wrote it.
    Where is all of this going?
    The only thing that can be said for sure is that the demand for news and information and entertainment is increasing exponentially.
    The Winnipeg Free Press is not the first to come up with a pay-per-story approach. Some companies actually extend this thinking and, in turn, pay writers based on how mant readers they attract. If no one reads an article, the journalist is paid nothing. If millions do, the journalist gets a big, fat check. As has happened with other experiments, others will mimic and modify to see what, if anything, gets traction.
    As indicated, the key is high-quality, exclusive news and information that people want. But sometimes budgeteers can’t wrap their spreadsheets around that simple fact.
In the interim, there is hope. People do change their habits and their thinking over time.     Some of us are old enough to remember the ironclad fact in American society that television and radio were free. In the early days of cable the mere notion of paying $3.50 per month to get a few more channels was an option only for the wealthy. Today, as we know, most households pay $100 to $200 or more monthly for the opportunity to watch “Duck Dynasty” 24/7.
    But cable, satellite and Internet TV are being challenged, too.
    Who will be paid how much for what remains an open question.

Charlie Mitchell is a Mississippi journalist. Write to him at cmitchell43@yahoo.com.



Peter Rinaldi
Walter Williams
Top Local News
Amy Alkon
Dollars and Sense
Your Health
Thomas Sowell

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