Making Sense of the Media
12:46 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Cancellation of Saturday Mail Delivery Hits Some Media Hard

Credit U.S. Postal Service

What does ending Saturday mail delivery have to do with the media?

Well, Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute's "Sense Making Project" says there are still some kinds of media that use snail mail.

"There are two categories of news that traditional come through the mail," McBride explains. " One is magazines, and many of the news weekly magazines are delivered on Saturday. And then, the second, there are certain community newspapers that rely on the post office to distribute their newspapers. These are predominantly small...rural communities."

McBride says those small rural newspapers will have to bump up their deadlines to assure mail delivery during the five day work week.

National weekly news magazines will have to do the same thing. But, McBride says, that will really affect the news coverage of those magazines.

"If you put the magazine to bed earlier, you miss all of the important news that happens late Wednesday and on Thursday. If you put the magazine to bed at the same time and you say,  'Oh the readers will get accustomed to reading it on Monday,'  that's a pretty substantial shift you are asking them to make."

McBride says this is a big deal for weekly magazines that are succeeding in an otherwise struggling print world.

While Newsweek has halted its print product, Time magazine is doing pretty well, and a magazine called The Week, which aggregates the week's news reports from other news organizations is, as McBride puts it, "going gangbusters."