Newspapers are all about storytelling and, yet, "with the crisis that we face as an industry, we don't do a great job of telling our very, very compelling story," Terry Egger, publisher and CEO of Philadelphia Media Network, told attendees at the Mega-Conference last week.
In his keynote address to 700 industry executives in Las Vegas, Egger called on newspapers across the country to establish conversations with local community and business leaders about the important role that newspapers play.
As an industry, he said we have suffered a lot of self-inflicted wounds. "We wish we had do-overs," he said, "but we don't. What we do have, though, is a compelling story that needs to be told."MORE
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
America's Newspapers – the association formed from the merger of the Inland Press Association and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association – was ceremonially launched October 6 at its inaugural annual meeting in Chicago.
Dean Ridings will be its chief executive officer, effective Nov. 11.
America's Newspapers unites two of the oldest press associations to form one of the industry's largest advocates for newspapers and the many benefits to their communities, civil life, freedom of expression and democracy.
"Newspaper journalism provides a voice for the voiceless, challenges elected officials, shines a light on government, calls for change when change is needed, and exposes corruption and injustice," said Chris Reen, the president and publisher of The Gazette in Colorado Springs who will serve as the first president of America's Newspapers.More
A new association formed by the consolidation of SNPA and the Inland Press Association was officially launched today. The name of the new association will be announced on Oct. 6 at the association's first annual meeting in Chicago.
Edward VanHorn, SNPA's executive director, said that the merger unites two of the country's oldest press associations into a progressive new organization that will use its bigger and more powerful voice to be an unapologetic advocate for newspapers.More