One Way To Boost Newspaper Sales? Write A Story That Someone Will Try To Hide By Buying Up All The Copies

from the there's-an-idea dept

A few folks sent over this bizarre story of two small, local Long Island newspapers seeing a massive, unexpected sales hike. Apparently, two customers went around to every store they could find that stocked the papers and bought them all up -- spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,000. The publisher at least seems to have a sense of humor about it (and why not, he's making money):
Iíve been in this business for 50 years and never have I experienced what we experienced this past week: a run on the newsstands by someone involved in a truly monumental school project; someone really proud of their grandchild on the honor roll; someone with a great deal of precious glassware to pack; or, as I suspect, someone intent on suppressing the dissemination of a particular news story.
As for which story someone might have wanted to suppress, well, that's where it's helpful that the buyers bought out two separate local newspapers. While the papers do sometimes publish the same story, this edition only had three such stories. One is about spotting former basketball player Charles Barkley -- which seems unlikely. Then there's one about county money being diverted out of a preservation fund -- which might be embarrassing, but not necessarily buy-up-the-full-run-of-papers bad. But the third story is where the publisher suspects he may have an answer: a story that was in both papers about a local doctor arrested and accused of Medicare fraud.

Of course, who still reads a newspaper on newsprint any more? Yes, that's right, the story in question is available online too. So if it really was about trying to suppress that story, it's time to get some digital "buyers" out there to buy up all these online stories...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 6:40am

    What is this?

    World sitcom day?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Oct 6th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Legitimate Free-Market Solution

    Of course once something is printed these days, its virtually available forever.

    On the issue of suppressing content; I have seen some ads proclaiming that they will diligently search the internet to "protect" your name, reputation, social security number, etc. These types of ads would seem to be nothing more than a scam.

    But, I have been wondering, exactly how do they propose to "clean" or otherwise remove content from a website to achieve their claims?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 6th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    This is a physical DOS attack!

    This is a physical DOS attack. Notice that it is not illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Angry Puppy (profile), Oct 6th, 2011 @ 7:03am

    Re: Legitimate Free-Market Solution

    Buy all of the computers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Re: This is a physical DOS attack!

    This is a physical DOS attack. Notice that it is not illegal yet.

    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 7:14am

    Buying up a print run is possible. "Buying" up an online article is not. Nice example of scarce vs. non-scarce.

    Thanks, Doc!



    [ps - i still read the paper every morning. it's been a part of my daily ritual for going on 3 decades and i really don't want to give it up. part of the fun is seeing what's there that i read online the day before.]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 7:15am

    Re: Legitimate Free-Market Solution

    Magic computer confetti. You sprinkle some on the inter-webs and everything you want to make disappear is made gone forever

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re:

    I agree, I don't think paper print is going anywhere, anytime soon.
    It may be scaled back to smaller numbers however

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 7:31am

    Did he go to peoples houses and take their copies from the front yard?

    Seems like this guy might want to have saved his money for a legal defense instead.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 6th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Run the story again each day - cash cow!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Re: This is a physical DOS attack!

    It's not a DOS because the papers are still selling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 8:17am

    Fyi, Medicare patients are typically not reading things on line. They are probably the only group left reading newspapers though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    CJWhite (profile), Oct 6th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    Something similar happened in the tiny town where I live (Hutto, TX). Someone bought up all the "Busted" magazines. It's the paper that publishes everyone's mugshots when they're arrested in the county.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 8:40am

    This is a great marketing strategy for struggling newspapers across the country, simply print everyone's dirty laundry and BOOM - PROFIT!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Paul Alan Levy (profile), Oct 6th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Doctor's name

    The linked New York Times story carried the doctor's name: Dr. Jesse Stoff, 55, of the East End Wellness Center in Riverhead. A bit surprised that the Techdirt post did not do so as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    martyburns (profile), Oct 6th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    What's a Newspape? Besides the singular of Newspapes obviously?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    What a great concept for a guaranteed sell-out local mag!
    Mugshots of everyone arrested, published weekly!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    FMHilton, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 4:31pm

    That's the ticket!

    "What a great concept for a guaranteed sell-out local mag!
    Mugshots of everyone arrested, published weekly!"

    Hey, my local rag does it: they run the pictures of anyone who was arrested for suspected DUI and convicted sex offenders.

    It really doesn't move it any better, though
    The newspaper hasn't been sold out at any time. Guess nobody cares that much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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