Embracing today’s stigma, a newspaper buries the lead and prints old news

Internet’s immediacy has relegated newspapers to secondary vehicles for yesterday’s news. But the Nashville Retrospect is actually embracing this new moniker.

RetrospectThe new monthly paper, which published its first issue in July, reprints old articles from defunct papers such as The Nashville Banner and The Colored Tennessean. And though there are some original articles about Nashville history, the concept behind the print editions allows the paper to avoid the intense pressure to scoop rival papers.

And response, said publisher Allen Forkum, has been positive:

We’re getting a lot of calls and emails and letters of people relating their memories of Nashville. That’s why I say it’s about history and nostalgia, because I look at nostalgia as history people can remember, and if we can get some of that in every issue, then we’ll have something that people enjoy reading.

The paper hopes to get all of its support from advertisers, an expectation that borders on fantasy in today’s print market when most newspapers that print new news are struggling to attract businesses to their pages. But maybe a paper that actually prides itself on being out-of date will succeed.

Or maybe not. Though the retro “news”paper claims to be free, its anachronistically modern Web site (“Find us on Facebook” button included) requests a $24 annual subscription fee.

But the paper is used to printing old news anyway, so someone probably just forgot to post an update.

UPDATE: Forkum told LedeObserver the $24 subscription is for mail delivery to home doorsteps. Paper boys were ultimately deemed too old-fashioned.

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6 responses to “Embracing today’s stigma, a newspaper buries the lead and prints old news

  1. I think this is a good idea! It’s definetly original…and being a lover of history myself I would rather pick up a paper whos news dated back 50 years ago than read a paper of current news.

  2. The retrospect could evolve into a Wiki on the history of Nashville. That would create more of a social aspect by allowing others to add to their memories.

  3. I actually agree. If papers own the fact that they’re outdated by the time they’re published by deciding to publish established old news, they could attract a solid niche audience.

  4. The newspaper is free in racks and on counters throughout Nashville. The subscription price is to have it mailed.

    Thanks for the coverage.

  5. What happens when people start voting to have a newspaper such as this to go online. I understand that the point of having this newspapers is for it to NOT go online, but somehow I feel the audience will push for something like this. It would take A LOT of pushing in the opposite direction to keep this newpspar on the shelves and not in someone’s USB drive!

  6. Being able to read past material is definitely a nice idea and I personally love nostalgia as much as anyone but I agree with Ben G, this just seems like something that’s bound to be put online sooner or later.

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