Print’s Not Dead

Is print dying? Well, here’s my stance. 30 years ago when I started at the News Tribune, I could get three channels on my TV. I could get about 12 radio stations on a clear day on my radio and there was one newspaper. Today, I get 160 channels and I DVR everything I watch. I have no idea how many radio stations I could get as I’ve found that podcasts and Audible books are my preferred commute entertainment.

However, there is still just one newspaper. It’s delivered to households with purchasing power. In Cole County over 50% of households read the News Tribune. No other media has that kind of reach. And perhaps even more impressive is it’s the only media where a reader welcomes the advertising.

When my refrigerator broke last week, I went online, researched the best brands, and then picked up my Sunday newspaper to see which store had those brands on sale. I then visited those stores because the idea of buying an item of that significance for my home is something I want to open, close, and check out in person.

There’s a reason that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is our largest selling newspaper of the year. Newspaper allows you to pass by what you are not interested in and focus on what you are. Advertising is a valued part of your local newspaper. Its advertising is not forced on you while you want to enjoy a program or music.

No print is not dying, but it is transforming. As long as all media is willing to look at their products and change to meet the needs of the readers and advertisers, there’s a place for them. What that place will look like many years from now, we all can only guess.