Spring Convention Takeaways
The good news is that weekly newspapers report that they are doing okay.
In fact, small weekly newspapers make up 73% of the market in New York State. Weekly newspapers throughout the nation account for 68% of the number of total newspapers.
Of that, 37.5% (39% in NYS) report that they are relatively healthy.
42.5% (44% in NYS) said that their financial situation was “not bad, not good.” (That’s where I weighed in on the survey. Not bad, not good.)
10% said that they were in poor health,
1% claimed they were near death.
On the question of whether business was better than a year ago:
22.5% (20% in NYS) said better (I weighed in here);
52% (57% NYS) said about the same;
24.5% (22% NYS) said worse;
1% were other.
This was contrasted with the study from three year ago where:
27% (25% NYS) said better,
25% (24% NYS) said about the same
47% (49% NYS) said worse.
Other remained at 1%.
So, overall (and if you glazed over with the numbers), a little less than 75% of all newspapers say that they are doing better or about the same as last year.
With that, the myth that newspapers are dying, driven out by social media, actually doesn’t play out in reality. This nationwide survey of papers, conducted by the Newspaper Institute since 2014, indicates newspapers are not in a rapid demise, but rather on a bit of an upswing.
Certainly, like many others, the industry is in disruption. And journalism is, for sure, being changed up. It’s not just the printed word now: it’s audio, it’s video and it’s social media.
But what was not changing is that readers trust their community newspapers, more than any other media. Particularly social media, as it is in the throes of being manipulated by outside forces.
And while that news may be good and may be bad, what separates papers (and their online news sites) from social media is trust. And media will do well to understand that tremendous responsibility to their readers who give us their trust.
It’s really positive news and a great affirmation.
Newspapers are relevant, trustworthy and consistent — an asset to the communities that are fortunate to have them.
The other good news is that in the Better Newspaper Contest, Upper Delaware was awarded the 3rd place win in the Niche Publication category, Division 1. The judges wrote: “A nice mix of content with outdoor activities and recipes, as well as community events.”
Additionally, the “It’s All About the Kids,” the parents’ magazine for the Wallkill Boys and Girls Clubs, took third place in the Best Public Service or Non-Profit Special Section. Judges wrote: “A well-done promotion of the Boys and Girls Clubs in the area. The colorful layout and easy-to-read format makes the section ideal for getting the word out about what the clubs offer and how people can be a part of the organization.”
Our magazine about the area is an award winner! How cool is that? And we produced a section for the Boys and Girls Club that is ideal for getting the word out about what the services they offer and how people can become part of the organization.
It’s nice to be reminded that we are doing really helpful work.
Newspapers and journalism is an asset of the people.
What a great takeaway!