Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » What's a better value than a newspaper?

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A Coke costs $1 or more and gives you cavities.

A Starbucks frapucciono costs $4 and makes you fat.

A newspaper costs 50 cents and makes you smarter.

Yet, people still regularly say a newspaper costs too much. What's wrong with this picture?

I've long lamented the poor job newspapers have done nationally of establishing their value proposition. We have failed to market the importance and appeal of newspapers to a broad audience.

Meanwhile, soft drink companies like Coca Cola have spent billions during the past century convincing us that carbonated sugar water will enrich our lives. Think of slogans like "Have a Coke and a smile." It's brilliant. The drink itself is worth about a penny. But a smile? Well, that's priceless. Thus, I'm willing to pay $1 for the promise of that smile.

If you read only one article or take advantage of only one coupon or chuckle at only one comic strip, isn't that worth 50 cents? Actually, the cost is only 37 cents daily if you sign up for our lowest-priced EZ Pay option.

I don't know what to say to people who say any newspaper isn't worth the money. Exactly what is a better deal?