Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Apparently No One Reads our Local Newspaper

Great ad in the Havre Daily “News” tonight on page 7. It was advertising the fact that anyone can stop by the HDN and pickup large bundles of unsold newspapers to be used for packing or what have you. Apparently they have an abundance of unsold papers piling up. I do commend them for “going green” and just not taking their trash to the landfill.

Perhaps if they actually would put something factual and newsworthy in the paper once in awhile they would have less unsold papers. If you are looking for a useful purpose for that paper I have some tips of what I use mine for.
• Blotter for my end table for keeping coffee cup rings off the furniture
• Liner for our bird cage
• Wrapping for fish
• When bound together they can be used to set your muddy boots on to keep dirt out of the entry
• A few layers of newspaper makes a great biodegradable mulch for your garden
• Keep one in your car to use as an emergency umbrella when caught in the rain
• Cover your store windows when remodeling
• Entertain your kids by folding them into paper hats

• Make paper Mache objects
• Make paper chains
• A few sheets crumpled up makes for good fire starter
• When Obama finally gets us all living on park benches a few newspapers will make a good emergency blanket against the night cold
• When I am not using the one by my chair for a coaster I find when rolled up it is also good for swatting flies
• The neighborhood kids like using the HDN Weekly Shopper that are always blowing all around the block as weapons when they play war
• I use the HDN Shopper as my source of rubber bands. If you watch for it so you can grab it before the wind blows it all over the place you can get one free rubber band per week
• My neighbor uses his newspaper to staple on his garage walls for insulation

So a big thanks goes out to the Havre Daily “News” for such a versatile product


  1. I remember years ago the classifieds were a couple of pages.

    Now they are a third of a page without legal notices.

    It is really a change of technology as people are using craigslist or the online garage sales. As of 03/29/12 the havre online yard sale facebook page had 3588 members, which I would venture to guess is way more than HDN subscriptions.

    I would chalk it up less to the news abilities of the HDN and more to the fact they are less able to compete with modern advertising systems, many of which are free.

    Print newspapers are a dying across the country. They are slow, expensive, and take days to correct mistakes by their nature.

  2. There are no classifieds because they are way too expensive. Last ad I ran cost over $60 for 3-4 days. I agree times are changing but the fact that the HDN is noted for writing only negative and often erroneous articles has contributed to their collapse. Some of their so called news stories would even make a fiction writer go blush. When times change you have to change your business model to stay competitive or you will begin fading away like the HDN.

    A number of years ago I recall the Havre Daily’s advertising lady coming by to try and sell us a big ad asking people to buy at home for the upcoming holiday season. The very next Saturday after hearing this sales pitch I was in Great Falls and saw this very same sales lady coming out of Shopko with two heavily laden shopping carts heaped with toys and gifts for her family. How can you sell a product when you don’t believe in the very product you are selling or adhere to the behavior you are advocating for the locals?

  3. Ha ha, I read that myself last night and the humor of it never really sunk in until I read your post!! Very funny, good eye HDC!

  4. @Jimbo: As a Havre business person, what were you doing at Shopko in Great Falls and then criticizing others for it? Now that is also an example of the pot calling the kettle black. Personally, I think the paper would do well to publish no more than twice a week. I think people would more likely read it then.

  5. MzMontana
    Contrary to what everyone seems to think here in little Havre America those of us in business do strive to offer competitive pricing. Have you ever noticed people who are employed at IGA out at Wal-mart with their clip boards checking prices? I am certain no business in Havre prices their goods using the manufacturers suggested list price so how do we come up with the price we mark on our goods? First we figure a margin of profit after our fixed costs of overhead to see what it will take to stay in business. Second we check with our competitors to try and be below or at least in the ball park with their prices if at all possible.

    We do my dear try to be competitive with places like Wal-mart, Shopko, Target and other big box stores that seem to draw Havre customers under the pretense of “better prices” in the big city. You may have seen me at Shopko and maybe Wal-mart also but I assure you that you have never seen me leaving a Great Falls store with a full cart of the same merchandise available in Havre. If everyone was as loyal to Havre businesses as my family the whole Hill County economy would be considerably better.

    Just go out to the junction of Hi-way 2 & 87 this weekend and you will see a whole traffic snarl of good Havre folks headed to Great Falls with pockets full of cash they have earned in Havre. These same great Falls shopping bargain hunters are also the same people that hit Havre businesses week after week seeking donations for some worthy project or another. I wonder when the last time one of them thought to ask Shopko for a donation for one of their pet projects.

    So sweetie I hope that cleared things up for you.

  6. This story hit on one of my pet peeves. The paper’s Hi-line Shopper that they deliver to those that don’t get the paper always, and I mean always blows all over my yard. I have called the newspaper at least twice to ask that they quit throwing it on my step and it stops for a few weeks and then here it comes again. Sometimes with a rubber band which helps but most times just loose and free to blow all over.

    Wouldn’t this fit under the city’s littering ordinance? I don’t even look at it as I carry it straight to the dumpster every time it is delivered. I don’t want it and have politely asked them to cease and desist yet I repeatedly find it blown into my shrubs and caught against my fence.

    Shouldn’t the local authorities be able to ticket them for littering my yard every week? They would ticket me if I threw it out my car window onto the City Hall lawn.

  7. Regarding the shop at Havre thing.

    I do attempt to shop in Havre, I really do. I understand the pricing issue in relation to merchants in bigger markets.

    What I cannot comprehend is the failure of local merchants to offer decent service, or stand behind their product. These merchants do need to understand that the people of Havre are NOT beholden or required to buy merchandise from them. I do not see any reason for these businesses to think they should be free of competition simply because all of us reside in Havre.

    I shop in Havre because I live here, it is convenient, and I wish to do my share for the local economy. With that being stated, these businesses do need to be aware that when they 'we will have to special order that' so can I. I will have the produst delivered to my door, generally for less, and probably as quick as that store will have it.

    These businesses need to earn their business, and I think many of them really take advantage of the fact this is a small town.

  8. That's the only reason I still buy the paper. I think we need a local paper and like to support local business. I keep hoping the quality will improve but it seems to get worse instead of better.

    I wonder if they actually hire some educated and professionally trained reporters and staff if their readership would increase. Maybe if they paid a professional wage they could produce a professional newspaper. I realize it is hard to pay big salaries and stay in business in a small town market but they don’t appear to be making it the way they operate now.