Next week, Oct. 3–9, is National Newspaper Week. This is a good time to consider the state of the industry and the state of our local papers. To paraphrase Mark Twain, a newspaperman himself, reports of the industry’s demise are greatly exaggerated.
The way people consume information is changing rapidly, and we hear frequently the death of newspapers is imminent.
Maybe people feel this way because they aren’t regular newspaper readers, or they just don’t think people read newspapers as much as they did 10 years ago. If they’re referring to the printed newspaper, they are usually correct.
The newspaper industry has seen printed newspaper circulation declines for more than 10 years. Many of us in the industry are, slowly but surely, realizing that we’re not in the printed paper business, but in the information business. That transformation of our attitude about print has not been easy. Here at Feather Publishing many of us like our printed paper traditions, and our readers are very loyal.
Printed newspapers often sell out after elections, weather disasters and other significant events. People still buy copies of the newspaper when their children make the honor roll or their team has a win, and for many, the newspaper obituary is the defining memorial for a loved one. Our paper is the paper of record: Local government entities publish legal notices each week.
Printed newspapers are one of the few media where people actually look forward to the advertising. Research indicates ads are a desired part of the experience.
The ritual of reading the weekly paper continues to be strong locally, and like other community newspapers, we have experienced circulation stability and even growth in the past decade.
Yet we recognize the value of instant information on the Internet is readily apparent.
While we will always value our printed newspapers, we recognize many people turn to the Internet, and increasingly to their cell phones, as their initial news source.
The good news for people who like the information they get from newspapers and want to see it continue is that in most American markets the number one source for local information is the newspaper’s website.
A recent comScore survey ranked local newspaper websites first among all sources for trustworthiness, credibility and most informative place to find local content of all types, including news, information, entertainment and sports.
Newspaper websites have devoted readership and we are no exception. We covet that relationship and it only reassures us that ultimately we will be here for years to come.
The way people get their information is changing, but our newsroom has more people dedicated to information gathering than other area media outlets combined, and no one covers local news better, with more accuracy and more in depth, than the paper.
Your paper will continue to report the news that is relevant to you and your community. You can be assured of continued change, but you can also expect the paper will be around tomorrow, providing local information better than everyone else in a multitude of options.
We encourage you to bookmark our website, plumasnews.com, and continue to read the paper for the latest news and local sales.
Keep scissors handy to cut out important keepsake information for scrapbooks as a continuing history of Plumas County life.