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Thread: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

  1. #1
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    Default Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    ...that is the question.

    For those interested in the topic, please excuse my long post. I just returned from a local coffee shop (today it was Caribou, yesterday it was Starbucks; Monday it was Scooters) with a $5.00 cold drink -- and I'm thinking about spending less than that (coffee drinks x 20 a month to get a monthly average) to get newspaper content that I probably would enjoy more than today's cold coffee). [The coffee thing may be explained by a caffeine addiction except that I gave up caffeine years ago and only drink decaf -- go figure.)

    I note the Argus is further limiting its free online content. There are now articles that are for subscribers only. Those include some articles by Zimm. For example, in this message board's football thread "Zimmers position analysis", I cannot access the article cited because I'm not a subscriber.

    Now, I know there are many -- me included -- whose initial reaction to "subscriber's only" is "yeah, well you can go shove that up your nose". But I'm re-thinking that position. The news industry created a real monster by giving away content on the internet. That "business" model has caused great harm to the bottom line and with that, there goes the reporting and editorial staff. More notable is the fact that getting free content on the internet has caused a significant problem with readers: Readers are now conditioned to expect free content. Free? (I'm taking another drink from my $5.00 cold coffee.)

    I'm thinking about the following:
    I'm going to give serious consideration to subscribing. (More below on the qualifier: 'serious consideration") If we did not have the internet, there's no question I would be a subscriber to the print Argus -- I'd do that on the basis of Zimm's coverage accompanied by some good action photos -- I thought the same going back to the early D1 days with Chris Solari and continuing through Terry Vandrovec and Zimmer-- the Argus has overall covered the Jacks well with entertaining and informative stories and features. I think the Argus recognizes they have a lot of readership (although many are freeloaders like me) who are interested in the Jacks and the teams they play.

    I'm thinking it's time for an attitude adjustment: I get more enjoyment following the Jacks than I do spending five bucks on a coffee most days. I think its high time to pony-up and make sure the Argus stays in business and Zimm is rewarded for some good work. Perhaps some day we will read about Zimm's technique for maintaining perfect bed-head-hair every day.

    I'd be interested in reading the experience of others who frequent this message board and are subscribers to the Argus so they have full online access to content.

    I recognize this long, boring post may invite some sharp rebukes. I'm not very interested in reading the "they can go to hell" attitude -- I already have that attitude and I'm thinking about changing it. I'm interested in Zimm's coverage and as football approaches, I really don't want to miss out. That has value to me -- more value than my Starbucks, Caribou and Scooters reward cards provide. Perhaps more important is the fact that my wife, one of the all-time great Jackrabbit fans (she's a convert: got her degree elsewhere and like religion converts, sports converts are impossible to reason with....). Zimm has access to coaches and athletes and he's focused on SDSU coverage. And, he does a very good job putting it all together. I can't get that information and those stories from any other source. What's that worth? I think its worth a subscription. (Starbucks, Caribou and Scooters along with an independent coffee shop or two have nothing to worry about.)

    Okay, here's the qualifier on 'serious consideration': The papers in the Gannett chain -- the Argus is one -- have bad websites. The Argus free website is the worst website I visit. I'm not exaggerating. Each morning I read a bunch of news from many sources on an iPad. I am a subscriber on some of the sites. The iPad works flawlessly on every site except the Argus site. So, I conclude I don't have a problem with the iPad. The Argus site is garbage. It has dead links and links that misdirect from the intended story to an ad or an unrelated story. At times it simply stares back at me so I move on. Lately the Argus site is one I do not check every morning because it works so poorly. If I subscribe, will I continue to have problems with access?

    So, I'm going to try to determine the experience of those who are online subscribers to the Argus. Anyone care to comment? Does the website work for subscribers? I'm going to investigate the cost of a subscription etc. and I may call the Argus circulation dept and discuss with them.

    Disclaimer: My SDSU undergrad degree is a BS in Journalism and I am biased: I'm absolutely convinced we can't afford to lose good news organizations and reporters like Zimm.

    If anyone made it to the bottom of this post, thanks for reading. I'll hang up and listen.
    Last edited by JackJD; 07-24-2019 at 03:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    Quote Originally Posted by JackJD View Post
    Perhaps some day we will read about Zimm's technique for maintaining perfect bed-head-hair every day.


    I laughed way too hard at this.

    As far as subscribing or not... If Zimmer would consistently pump out articles that gave me inside access to the jacks athletic teams, I would probably subscribe. So far, I've got by with the 5 free per month because, well, there just aren't that many articles I want to read. I don't want to turn this into a Zimmer bashing thread, but it seems like he feels the need to make every article this long form piece that is incredibly thorough, which is great and definitely needed and appreciated at times... but we're in the age of twitter, where I would rather have my information quicker, which means shorter bits of information. If he was pumping out shorter articles like a blogger does on professional and large college sports teams, I would be more apt to have an appetite for that type of coverage and choose to subscribe. From what I can tell, Zimmer doesn't really like the blogging style, so maybe I'm asking for something he can't do or wouldn't want to do. I'm just saying that's what I would want. With professional or large college sports teams, those types of articles get enough traffic that they can survive on advertisements alone. Obviously the advertisers for the Argus don't feel like they're getting enough traffic in order to shell out the type of money that keeps articles free to view. I understand this, and would be willing to pay for coverage for a team that doesn't get a ton of traffic, just a different type of coverage.

    Edit:

    The article he just put out about Christion signing with the Cowboys is the type of quick hit info I enjoy.

    They do have a sale right now for $29 for a year subscription, which isn't bad. But then it goes to $10/month... I have so many other subscriptions for that amount that provide me far greater entertainment value.
    Last edited by CappinHard; 07-24-2019 at 04:04 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    I subscribe to the online Argus Leader. It's not as high a quality newspaper as it used to be, before job reductions devastated much of the news industry. However, the local content in the Argus is still pretty good, and the paper remains a better monthly bargain than than a few cups of take-out coffee (which I continue to buy). The online Argus is relatively cheap, and a discounted deal usually can be found.
    Significantly, an online subscription to the Argus also gives readers access to breaking news coverage, and a lot of stories are posted online a day or two ahead of the print edition. Sometimes the jump is several days. The print edition, whether by design or neglect, is becoming irrelevant. I want to support good local journalism, and I want to read about the Jackrabbits. I credit the Argus Leader for continuing to try to provide coverage on those fronts. Coverage of SDSU sports is one area that it can really differentiate itself and provide value.
    An interesting aside: There are two main, competing, commercial radio station groups in Sioux Falls. They each have about a half-dozen stations that each appeal to different audiences. One of the groups no longer has a single local news person on staff. Not one. (To its credit, the other group still has at least of couple of news people.) Nationally syndicated political junk has largely taken over the radio airwaves. That's sad. TV stations are feeling the squeeze, too. The Sioux Falls area is likely to see the results soon because KSFY's parent company is buying KDLT's parent company. So we're likely to end up with two TV news teams rather than three.
    Peace. Love. Coffee. Jackrabbits.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    I checked the Argus site for subscription costs:
    -- $29 for one year of unlimited digital access. That's 56 cents a week.
    -- 99 cents a week for Sunday and Thursday print Argus plus unlimited digital access. That's $51.48 per year.
    -- $2.99 a week for Monday through Sunday print plus unlimited digital access. That's $155.48 a year

    Cappin noted the $29/year for unlimited online access is a current offer but it will change to $10 a month.

    $29 / year ... I think I'll take that deal. I may try to figure out a way to let the Argus know that a strong reason I'm subscribing is because of the SDSU coverage.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    I subscribe online. No complaints here.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    I subscribe to the Thursday & Sunday form that gives me complete access to the online edition. I seldom look at the hard copy that comes to my house because because I can get the exact image of that on line if I prefer. I use a MacBook Air and have had no problem with the website. The links work the presentation is good. What I like is that I see most of the stories at least 24 hours on line before they appear in print and sometimes several days before.

    You are right that the newspaper kind of created its own monster by offering so much free material on line in the early years of digital news that it is had to sell switching to have to pay for what we used to get for free. But in all fairness, how many of us are or were when we were working willing to give away what we work hard to produce? Sure, I in retirement teach a few free courses for seniors, but that is out of enjoyment. Had I given away for free my "intellectual property" when I was an active teacher/researcher, I would be trying to survive as a welfare recipient today rather than enjoying a comfortable retirement. No way should I expect those in the various of aspects of journalism to give away their products just because I am to cheap (or spoiled) to pay for them. At a $ a week for the on-line Thursday +Sunday service, I doubt that you can find a better bargain.

    We need to keep a strong free press, and this is my small contribution to that.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit74 View Post
    I subscribe to the Thursday & Sunday form that gives me complete access to the online edition. I seldom look at the hard copy that comes to my house because because I can get the exact image of that on line if I prefer. I use a MacBook Air and have had no problem with the website. The links work the presentation is good. What I like is that I see most of the stories at least 24 hours on line before they appear in print and sometimes several days before.

    You are right that the newspaper kind of created its own monster by offering so much free material on line in the early years of digital news that it is had to sell switching to have to pay for what we used to get for free. But in all fairness, how many of us are or were when we were working willing to give away what we work hard to produce? Sure, I in retirement teach a few free courses for seniors, but that is out of enjoyment. Had I given away for free my "intellectual property" when I was an active teacher/researcher, I would be trying to survive as a welfare recipient today rather than enjoying a comfortable retirement. No way should I expect those in the various of aspects of journalism to give away their products just because I am to cheap (or spoiled) to pay for them. At a $ a week for the on-line Thursday +Sunday service, I doubt that you can find a better bargain.

    We need to keep a strong free press, and this is my small contribution to that.
    Online only here but Like to support the jacks coverage. it's the only reason I subscribe

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    I've had the $10 per month subscription for a few years. I seldom look at anything other than the sports page, mostly Zimmer's stuff. JD is right, the website blows. Pop-ups all over the place and the screen jumps around a lot, but I get the Jacks coverage and the live chat when Matt has time. I also get the e-edition, a digital picture of the print edition. To me it is worth the 10 bucks a month. All of my TV coverage is from Fargo so that is a factor for me also.
    An ardent supporter of the hometown team should go to a game prepared to take offense, no matter what happens.Robert Benchley
    US actor, author, & humorist (1889 - 1945)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    Quote Originally Posted by JackJD View Post
    ..... Cappin noted the $29/year for unlimited online access is a current offer but it will change to $10 a month.
    $29 / year ... I think I'll take that deal. I may try to figure out a way to let the Argus know that a strong reason I'm subscribing is because of the SDSU coverage.
    Good plan. I think SDSU fans make up a strong core of Argus Leader readers, especially sports readers, but they are largely taken for granted because of their silence.
    Peace. Love. Coffee. Jackrabbits.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Argus: To subscribe or not to subscribe...

    I appreciate the comments. I’m signing up tomorrow.

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