Newspapers are dead, or at least dying. It was a topic of study, research and debate when I was in college studying journalism 18 years ago. Sure, it caused me to pause a moment and consider the career I was pursuing. If I would have believed the predictions, I wouldn’t be a news editor today for a weekly published on newsprint. But here I am, still in the newspaper business, still with a job. And here you are, reading my inked words on newsprint.
When I was first employed with The Morgan County News in 1998, the number of subscribers was actually lower than it is now. If newspapers are dying, why are our subscriptions up?
Readers subscribe to a newspaper for many reasons, according to an Ad Age/Ipsos Observer American Consumer Survey in 2012. Among those reasons in order of importance are local news, coupons, national news and obituaries.
Newspapers are integral to society because they monitor local government, explore current local events, have the largest staff dedicated to reporting, compare prices, share local opinion and explore local entertainment. This is done in detail written by other locals, not some think tank residing thousands of miles away.