FRIED LIGHT: An eye for an eyeball

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By Roger Snodgrass

With a stiff upper lip, the man talked about all the competition for people’s eyeballs these days.

“We’re not just competing with competitors,” he lamented, stepping around bunches of boxes of printed matter the other day. “It’s not just all the other print out there, it’s e-mail and the Internet, television and cable, CDs and DVDs and all the rest.”

Sounds kind of like somebody in the newspaper business, doesn’t it?

But no, it was a used-bookstore owner in Albuquerque moving his inventory to a third location in three years. A little beaten up, doing most of the work all by himself lately, but not depressed.

“You’re seeing the last days of this kind of store,” he said with a kind of proud resignation, not about to call it quits.

Robin Martin, owner and publisher of the Santa Fe New Mexican made a similar observation recently, kicking off a training seminar, attended by three journalists from the Monitor among about 60 newspaper people from the region.

“We’re not competing so much with each other any more as we are with everything else that is going on in people’s lives,” she said.

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