Addressing Expectations and Behaviors of News Consumers

Jeff Sonderman

As the news environment and technology has changed rapidly, so have the behavior, attitudes and expectations of the American news consumer. Any news publisher aiming to sell subscriptions or grow an audience must understand some fundamental new realities about the ways people now consume and purchase news.

Research by the American Press Institute, as part of the Media Insight Project, has steadily uncovered new insights about news consumers, such as whether people seek out news or bump into it accidentally, reasons people pay for news, which devices and news sources people use for different situations, how people really think about "trust" in news, and the ways young adults are different or similar to previous generations.

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Mega-Conference, API Deputy Executive Director Jeff Sonderman will highlight the most important of these ways that news consumers are changing and explain the new strategies and opportunities this presents for news publishers.

Sonderman says: "The key objectives many publishers are facing these days, such as growing and retaining subscribers and reaching bigger audiences, depend on understanding modern news consumers. The American Press Institute has worked with publishers to explore some of the most pressing questions – like how trust really works, how young people get news, and who will pay for news and why. We'll share some of the insights you can apply in your business today."

Deadline for Nominations is Next Tuesday

Two complimentary registrations to the 2019 Mega-Conference will be awarded to each of the finalists for this year's Mega-Conference Innovation Award.

In addition to complimentary registrations valued at nearly $1,000 each, the winner of this year's award will take home a beautiful engraved award and a cash prize of $500.

This award is designed to recognize innovative achievements made by newspapers or newspaper groups of all sizes.

Get recognized as the best of the best at the 2019 Key Executives Mega-Conference, Feb. 25-27 in Las Vegas!

The deadline to enter is Jan. 15.

Calendar of Events
October 6 - 8, 2019

Registration for the 2019 Joint Annual Meeting of SNPA and the Inland Press Association has begun, with discounted rates of $695 being offered to members through July 16.

Industry News

David Bronner
By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

What was announced last week as the sale of Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. to the Retirement Systems of Alabama was really an acquisition of the small percentage RSA didn't already own, according to RSA CEO David Bronner.

"We already owned 87 percent of it," Bronner said.

RSA is made up of several state employee pension funds. Its holdings include golf courses, office towers and, until now, Raycom Media, of which CNHI was a part. But Raycom was sold to Gray Media, while CNHI will remain based in Montgomery with RSA.


Horizon Publications has acquired The Shelby Daily Globe Inc., which includes The Shelby Daily Globe, the Willard Times-Junction, The New London Record, Firelands Farmer and the Shopper's Helper from Scott Gove and the Stambaugh family, according to Randy Cope of Cribb, Greene & Cope who represented the families.


James C. High

James Charles High, 85, long-time publisher of The News Reporter in Whiteville, N.C., died Wednesday, Jan. 2, at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte after a brief illness. His son, Les High, is the current publisher of The News Reporter and a member of the SNPA Foundation Board of Trustees.

SNPA People

Jim Normandin

Adams Publishing Group Executive Vice President and Eastern Divisional President Gregg Jones has announced that James F. Normandin has become regional president of APG Media of Chesapeake. David Fike will continue to serve as publisher of The Star Democrat (Easton, Md.) and will take on the additional responsibility of becoming the APG Chesapeake Region's chief revenue officer. In addition, Fike will become chief development officer for the Eastern Division of APG for its Sales CRM Initiative.

Robin Quillon

Robin Quillon, a veteran newspaper executive, is returning to Florida as publisher of The Gainesville Sun and The Ocala Star-Banner.

Ed Choate

Ed Choate, executive editor of the Muskogee Phoenix, has been appointed publisher and editor of the McAlester News-Capital.

Jane Katona

Jane Katona, former Daytona Beach News-Journal advertising director and current GateHouse vice president of sales for East Florida, has added the title of News-Journal general manager.


By Robie Scott, director of audience development and community engagement, The Post and Courier

You think you know how the poem goes – and if you grew up anywhere in the United States, you can probably recite at least the first couple of lines.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...


RJI's director of aerial journalism says there is no magic bullet app that does everything. And technology isn't the sole answer to being a better drone journalist. But we're safer when we remember that we're pilots first and photographers second.

Here are the apps he recommends to help you get there.

SNPA Jobs Network

Burlington Executive Editor / Triad Editor, Burlington, N.C.
This person will serve as executive editor for the Burlington Times-News with additional oversight of newsroom leaders at the Asheboro Courier-Tribune and Lexington Dispatch. Learn more and submit your resume

2nd Pressmen for a DGM 430 press, Sun  Publications, Lakeland, Fla.
Sun Publications (DR Media) is looking for 2nd press leaders who are experienced – ensuring safety, quality, basic maintenance and repairs on press. Learn more and submit your resume

Post your job openings with us. To post your employment listing, simply email the text of your ad to cindy@snpa.org.

Training and Development

Do you know why many newspapers are seeing their classified revenues start to go UP instead of DOWN? It's because they are letting go of the old and letting in the new brilliant ideas and efficiencies that are making classifieds a key revenue builder again. Learn how you can turn it all around and make 2019 a much easier year to reach budget! SNPA members can register at no cost for this Jan. 10 webinar.

If you can't participate on Jan. 10, no problem! Register anyway and view a recording of the webinar at your convenience. More
Reader's Corner

Journalists who regularly use the Freedom of Information Act to get documents about how federal environmental laws are enforced may soon find records harder, and more expensive, to obtain.

Newly proposed regulations would allow the Interior Department to enforce caps on how many requests it will process from frequent FOIA users, make it more difficult for news organizations to justify having their FOIA fees waived, and relax internal deadlines for the agency to act on requests.

Read more from Medium


News and commentary of interest to journalism innovators and entrepreneurs. Read the latest from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

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