Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Don't Count Out Newspapers!

Who would have thunk that with all of the electronic ways to get your news that the standard newspaper would still be even in existence? In talking with my very hip, younger neighbor the other day, she told me that she just could not start her day without reading her LA Times. She actually leaves home a half-hour early, so that she can fight Los Angeles traffic to get to her office and read it before starting her day. Wacky!

In a recent BizReport article entitled "Why Local Marketers Shouldn't Count Out Newspapers," author Kristina Knight reports that it is indeed too early to give up on this advertising vehicle. Here's the amazing thing . . . numerous surveys over the past few years have reported a decline in newspaper readership. However, 15-29 year olds are increasingly turning to traditional newspapers to get their daily news. The funny thing about this is that I always thought that newspapers would appeal to older generations who grew up with them (and no internet). Now, we are finding that the younger generations are the ones that may sustain this industry now and into the future. See, you just never know!

The World Newspaper Conference recently released a study on this. From the article: "The study indicates that newspapers still have several chances to reinvent themselves, especially with the younger demographic. Researchers surveyed 3500 15-29 year olds in the US, the Netherlands and Finland; they learned that television is still the demo's choice to obtain news but that these younger consumers are open to local newspapers."

It turns out that both teachers and parents are encouraging younger folks to reach for a newspaper and they are doing it. In addition, social networks are also spreading the word about the "coolness" of newspapers. So, it's a situation where new-school is embracing old-school. It's actually quite refreshing in my opinion.

The other interesting idea is that the Millennial Generation (9-22 year olds) have been compared value-wise to the GI Generation (those 75 years old and above). Maybe . . . just maybe . . . the values of the Great-Grandparents have influenced the thought-processes of the Great Grandchildren.

Now that idea alone makes me want to reach for a newspaper!

1 comment:

Ted Grigg said...

You would think that most newspapers would get the message that most Americans are conservatives and moderates -- not liberals.

Yet the LA Times and New York Times, for example, are totally incapable of reporting on the news as it is, rather than the way they wish it were. And their subscribers have continued to drop at alarming rates for several years in a row. And the erosion is escalating.

I am convinced that news organizations as a whole are losing readership (and thus, advertising revenues) and viewership because today's reporters no longer resonate with most readers.

Let's change the composition of the professors and leaders in our colleges that train journalists. Let's hire teachers based more on their teaching skills rather than their ability to get published in some scholarly publication. Maybe we could attract people with hard earned wisdom rather than attracting cooks from the fringes of society.