Oregonian readers split on cutting stock listings
Ben Santarris, business editor of the Oregonian in Portland, noted that a recent survey of nearly 700 readers showed that people are divided on whether the paper should cut its stock listings. The paper is one of the first to roll out the new AP “Money & Markets” feature for its stock information.
Santarris wrote, “Some readers are clear about wanting to preserve the maximum number of individual securities listings, known in newspapering as stock agate. For them, the devil — as well as profit — lies in the details. They count on checking their shares over coffee in the same pages where they read the news and do the crossword.
“Yet another, fast-growing and likely bigger group of readers no longer think to check their stocks in the paper. For them, such listings, already 16 hours old by the time they show up in paper tubes, bear little meaning. If they want to check quotes, they look them up online in real time or check end-of-session e-mail summaries.
“Many of them would prefer a cogent, forward-looking market overview featuring new ideas and insights about investing trends.”
Later, Santarris gave some interesting perspective on how the stock listings in the paper have changed throughout the years. He wrote, “Fifty years ago, The Oregonian ran less than a single half-column on weekdays. It was not until 1982 that the paper ran as much as it does today, two pages. By 1996, the Internet was going mainstream. In that light, peak readership of the paper’s listings arguably lasted less than 15 years — and ended a decade ago.”
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