Cityscape

  • Print ain’t dead: How an itty bitty news brief sparked dozens of phone calls from readers

    The historic Wesley Peacock House near Woodlawn Lake in San Antonio, Texas
    The historic Wesley Peacock House near Woodlawn Lake

    With all the talk about print being dead, you’d think no one actually picks up newspapers anymore to read the archaic things.

    Tell that to Elaine Austin Palmer.

    Palmer curates the Wesley Peacock House, a historic home built in 1890 near Woodlawn Lake that served as the headquarters of a military academy.

    I wrote a brief about the house for the Express-News’ weekly Cityscapes feature. It ran with a photo of the house on the bottom corner of page 2B of the Metro Section — about as hard to find as you can get.

    Yet after the little feature was published, the calls started pouring in at the Peacock House.

    Palmer emailed me a few days ago and wrote:

    For our corner of the paper in the Metro Section, the Peacock House has received over 50 calls, and some still coming in — with the comments ‘How nice to know it’s still in use, I attended the academy, or I remember coming to the House way back when for a tea, etc.!

    It’s good to remember the decline of print is primarily an advertising problem, not a readership problem. People still read the newspaper — even itty bitty news briefs.