BARRE – The Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus has switched formats and will now publish only the obituary section of the newspaper. While other stories will appear on their website in online-only versions, the actual printed paper will be solely comprised of death notices and advertisements.
“We need to give the people what they want,” said incoming editor Mort Nouvelles, who takes full responsibility for the format change. “It has become very clear that people buy the paper for the obits. It’s a business that will never go out of business, and we are a business. Heck, even VTDigger has started publishing them. And it’s not like we’re publishing satire or anything. This is real news!”
The sudden shift in journalistic priorities has sparked some outrage among reporters and publishers online, none of whom have ever purchased a copy of the Times-Argus. “It’s a sad day for newspapers everywhere,” said Washington Post employee Pete Tennsus. “What we do is more than art, more than truth, more than beauty, what we do is essential for humanity’s very survival. We must survive!”
“I can’t believe they survived this long,” said Barre resident Ethyl Hootch as she perused the new Times-Argus obituary front-page. “We went to school together you know, but I never knew half this stuff. Really, there’s nothing more interesting than the life of something that’s dead. I wonder why that is.”
One obituary the Times-Argus will not have to print any time soon is their own. Readership has increased 28% since the change in formats last week, and is expected to continue to climb.