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):

I?ve 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…

Filed Under: ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

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

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Steve R. (profile) says:

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?

Anonymous Coward says:

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.]

FMHilton (profile) says:

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.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...