Link below includes 3-minute video clip.
The importance of the newsroom and of newspapers publishing engaging, relevant, local news was emphasized again and again by media executives on the "Investing in Newspapers" panel at the recent Key Executives Mega-Conference.
Over the last 13 years, the newspaper industry has lost more than 1,400 newspapers in the U.S. to closures, mergers and the downsizing of smaller free-standing newspapers that have become editions of larger regional ones, said Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair, Digital Media Economics, School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
"We've lost more than 1,000 newspapers," she said, "but the decline in circulation has been even more dramatic. It's been halved. Total print circulation – that includes all weeklies and dailies – has declined from 117 million to 67 million, the biggest drop coming in dailies."
She said, "The average print circulation of a daily newspaper in 2018 is 20,000. Since 2004, more than a third of all newspapers have changed hands and about half of them have changed hands two times or more."
When calculcated based on the number of newspapers (not on the circulation of those papers), she said the top 25 companies own a third of the nation's newspapers and control about 50 percent of print circulation.
Three of those companies – Adams Publishing Group, Hearst and AIM Media Management – were among the conference panelists.MORE
This may be my final blog post, for reasons I explain in its opening paragraphs.
So I'm using this last opportunity to sum up the huge challenge that faces newspaper companies – and the things I believe could possibly turn the tide from ongoing decline to growth.
It's a very tall order – but with the right leadership and commitment of resources, perhaps it could be done.MORE
Worries of impending layoffs, the frustrating search for a viable business model, concerns with all the stories they're missing thanks to smaller newsrooms. Sound familiar?
Recently, a group of 21 newspapers from around the country spent a few days at Poynter as part of the Local News Innovation program.
While nearly 100 editors and publishers were gathered together, Poynter asked a few of them some questions about their concerns, what they're excited about and what their staffs don't know about them. Among those interviewed was P.J. Browning, publisher of The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C., who is SNPA's treasurer.
Inventor Johannes Gutenberg failed 20 times when creating the printing press, but he saw its value. In comparison, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had followers within six hours because he understood social media's value.
The message that community newspapers also add great value to communities was one that presenter Penelope Muse Abernathy stressed during her "Thriving in a Networked Age" session at the 2016 News Industry Summit, held in September in Sarasota, Fla.MORE
For all the troubles they face, and they are legion, newspapers still enjoy what matters the most for any medium: the finest of audiences. People who read newspapers are the best-educated and most affluent of any community. They have the deepest roots. They vote, they sit on school boards, they own businesses and pay taxes.
And this remains so even after years of staff cuts at dailies around the country.
Papers all around the country are looking for ways to reinvent themselves in the face of the new and brutal economics of publishing. They're bringing in consultants. They're turning to think tanks.
Where they ought to be looking for inspiration and example is under their very noses, to America's small papers, those with circulations of 10,000 to 20,000.
Read more from Media Life.MORE
In this week's Futures Lab update, learn why small information websites may be the future of profitable news, how local news websites might attract more national ads, and what consumer brands can teach us about working with startups.MORE
In this week's Futures Lab update, hear about trends shaping news in the future and learn about a startup aimed at providing news and information to "the change generation."MORE
Read about the latest job openings posted on the SNPA website. And, send us your listings to post at no cost.More
The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News has promoted Bobby Rice to general manager. Rice, 50, joined The News in July as advertising director and will continue in that role. As general manager, however, he will be involved in all of the newspaper's operations.More