You see it in headlines everywhere. You can practically hear them clanging the church bells to signal it’s all over. "Newspapers are dying. Circulation is dropping. Blah, blah, blah." Which of course, sends advertisers into a panic. Maybe a newspaper buy is foolish?
Not so fast.
David Reich, an expert on such things, suggests that the death knoll is premature and I tend to agree with him.
Are the publishers under incredible pressures? You bet. Has the competition stepped up their game? Indeed. Is there simply more competition? Without a doubt. Are more young people turning to the internet to get their news? By the droves.
So how can David and I remain optimistic?
Ask yourself this. If you want to dive into the news of your local community, where do you turn? If there’s a natural disaster like a tornado or scandal at your local university, where do you go?
Research shows that most of us still turn to our local newspaper when we want to be in the know. Which makes sense. They’re right here, gathering the facts and creating tons of fresh content every day. Now, it’s true that many of us may go online to the paper’s website rather than read the actual paper. But, it’s still who we trust to give us the straight scoop.
Do I think today’s newspapers need to step it up and compete differently? Yes. I think they need to recognize that how (paper versus online or some other delivery model) they deliver their news is less important than understanding the news they can uniquely deliver.
I also think they need to get very comfortable straddling their historical place in the community and their need for being a part of this century. Check out this thought provoking by Jason Kintzler over at Social Media Today. How newspapers could harness and leverage the power of social media.
What do you think?