We’ve been calling it the end of an era for a long time now.
It’s supposed to be the end of newspapers, according to naysayers who have been predicting their ultimate demise for years. But the facts prove the newspaper industry is growing and transforming rather than dying. Of course, there are always bumps in the road to innovation, but as it turns out, we’re actually in the midst of a promising and exciting time.
Top businessmen and investors such as Warren Buffet, John Henry and Jeff Bezos are demonstrating that newspapers are still lucrative investments. And despite gloomy predictions, our circulation revenue is actually rising.
We’re experimenting and transforming to match the pace of our innovative and digitally-driven world. Digital and bundled subscriptions accounted for a five percent uptick in circulation revenue in 2012 – the first national rise in circulation revenue since 2003.
Newspaper content is now ubiquitous, available and accessed on every platform and device. Recent Scarborough research also shows that across all print, digital and mobile platforms, a full 70 percent of U.S. adults read newspaper content each week. That’s more than 164 million adults – 144 million of whom, still pick up the print copy.
And despite the common perception that the younger, digitally-native generation has abandoned newspapers, this study shows quite the opposite. Some 57 percent of young adults, ranging in age from 18 to 34, read newspaper content in a given week. This is a strong indication that the industry is still a relevant and vital source of information, even to Millennials, who coincidentally also contribute heavily to the growth of mobile readership, which jumped 58 percent over the last year.
The reason for this is simple. With the deluge of information available on the Internet, people of all ages rely heavily on sources they trust to provide accurate content and quickly sift fact from fiction.
Newspapers consistently and reliably provide the most up-to-date, accurate and important news. And our audiences recognize this, rating newspapers as the most trusted of all media forms in a recent Nielsen study. While 56 percent say they trust newspapers, 52 percent trust local television and only 37 percent trust social media.
Today’s technology has only proven how valuable this content is by providing a platform to widen the audience for each story, which can now be taken and repeated, shared, tweeted, condensed and emailed countless times a day.
Newspapers have always been the cornerstone of our society, and that did not change with the digital revolution. Ever since the Philadelphia Evening Post first published the Declaration of Independence, our newspapers have continued to unite us as communities and as a nation. News media connects us through stories, keeping us informed on school board decisions, local heroes, national budgets and international conflict.
The public’s right to know is essential to preserving our unique American democracy, and newspapers serve the vital role of independent watchdogs – keeping governments, businesses and other institutions in check. Without a free press that can protect its sources, American democracy will suffer.
The newspaper industry will continue to innovate and transform with the times, just like any other industry. But one thing will never change: Our historic promise to connect, inform, investigate and foster an educated society.
We’ve been calling it the end of an era for a long time now.
Affordable healthcare is here
The Republican Party’s angst against the colloquially named “Obamacare” is probably due to the millions of dollars they have wasted demeaning it. Whether they like it or not, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) can only be reversed if voters become lazy and allow Republicans to gain control of all three branches of our federal government. What both parties should do is look ahead to when the PPACA is fully implemented. Then, evaluate the final results when affordable healthcare for everyone is completed. A negative critique of a project at its inception is a wasteful effort in futility, politically and financially.
Ruling is in the hand of God
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby, the landmark lawsuit addressing the constitutionally guaranteed rights of business owners to operate their company without violating their religious convictions. No date has been set for the case to be heard, but it is expected to be decided by June.
Decades later, shock remains
The memory is still vivid. Nov. 22, 1963. Shortly after 1 p.m. A Friday. Sophomore year in high school. Walking down the second floor hallway to an English class.
Over the public address system came a familiar voice, that of the principal. The announcement was shocking. President John Kennedy had been shot, possibly killed.
Laughter stopped. Jokes subsided. Conversations ended. Girls cried. Disbelief reigned.
Last week, visiting Dallas, I relived the horror and the feeling was much like that I recall 18 years ago. I was limp.
At least there’s a music soundtrack for Black Friday
When I started to spoon out some dressing from the Thanksgiving turkey, what came out was a dollop of the sticky notes that serve as my memory. Talk about dry — but they were well-seasoned:
Count me among the folks who would rather be tossed naked into a briar patch than spend one nano-second in the Black Friday mosh pit that has eliminated “thanks” from the Thanksgiving holiday. (OK, I’ll pause a moment to let you erase the vision of me naked from your mind’s eye!)
Anyway, I’m not much of a shopper to begin with, and the thought of participating in the Black Friday is less appealing than drinking gasoline to cure strep throat. But I did find one thing that was kinda cool about this shopping insanity. It was a list called the Top 20 Songs for Black Friday, which was compiled by Michael Saltsman for the Wolfgang’s Vault website.
Filing opportunity opens for leaders
The opportunity is here. The window of time is brief. The importance of consideration is critical. And the decisions are important.
It is filing time for political offices, time for current leaders to re-commit, time for people with a vision to emerge, time for citizens to pay their civic rent.
The process begins tomorrow.
Bennett’s example a model for teachers
While there are a number of teachers within the Duncan Public Schools System worthy of attention for their work in the classroom, the selection of Tammy Bennett as teacher of the year for 2013-14 is no surprise.
Nominated by her peers and selected from a group of nine quality candidates, Bennett may well be a mold for teachers in the future.
Blessings surround us all daily
It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving Day is less than a week away. It seems like only yesterday we were all planning summer vacations, getting ready for a new school year or marking down key football games on a fresh, clean schedule.
Now, you’re looking forward to a nice visit with your family or relatives you don’t often see. Visions of that traditional, bountiful meal, stimulating conversations and a day far from the pressures of work are on your mind.
Giving thanks for things I ‘don’t’ have
Thursday, we’ll gather once again around the turkey, ham, clove-spiked chunk of Spam or whatever dish is the traditional family entree in your tribe.
It’s good we set aside at least one day each year to pause and draw strength from one another, and to give thanks for what we have.
However, on Thanksgiving Day 2003, I’ll be breaking with the tradition of acknowledging what I have and instead, I’ll be giving thanks for what I do not have. See, in the universal scope of have-ness, it’s the things I do not have that make me most thankful.
Special thoughts for Thanksgiving
As we enjoy the splendor of a beautiful holiday season, one that can’t be spoiled by recent dreary weather, let us all find peace, joy and comfort in the holiest of words taken from The Reformation Study Bible.
New owners offer stability, optimism
The acquisition of automobile dealerships for Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-Jeep and Chevrolet-Buick-GMC by Randy Byford and David LeNorman is good news for Duncan, Stephens County and southwest Oklahoma.
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- Affordable healthcare is here