In April, the Birmingham Eccentric, a local weekly Michigan paper, announced they were shutting down their print edition, another victim of new media, dwindling subscriptions and anemic advertising. But four months later, the 131-year old paper is still printing. And ironically, new media is what’s saving it.
When the paper revealed they were ceasing production, a group of Birmingham residents — “activists” — decided they would save the paper. They started by rallying support at a town hall meeting, a community solution for a local issue.
But then apparently they realized it was 2009.
And so they turned to the Internet, launching a Web site called Save the Birmingham Eccentric to increase subscriptions. They did a local segment on Fox News. And on Thursday, the Detroit-area radio station WXYZ published an editorial on their Web site about the efforts to save the local paper.
The newspaper’s exclamation-point infused rescue Web site offers a full year subscription for only $52, along with a bolded banner declaring “Subscribe to the Birmingham Eccentric and win!”
And though a few minutes of searching did not uncover a link to follow the newspaper on Twitter, the site is still promising a raffle drawing that apparently occurred last week.