The Death of The Newspaper- Is A Bit Off

By: Kelsey McLaughlin

Unknown-7.jpegFor years we’ve been hearing about the death of newspapers, but apparently, digital newspapers and its readership are up. 

According to State Point Media, “It’s true the newspaper industry has been dramatically impacted by the internet and social media, but it’s also true that thousands of newspapers continue to thrive in their communities. And PR pros who ignore this reality are missing out on a big opportunity.

The death of the newspaper makes for a great story, but the numbers don’t completely back up this tale. There are more than 11,000 local newspapers in the US, and the growth of the Internet has actually driven readership, as 8 in 10 Americans read newspapers digitally each month, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

The key is to stop thinking of newspapers as physical products and start thinking of them as media organizations that are using both print and electronic channels to serve their audiences.”

If we think of print media and the electronic channel it can fill, we start to see the place for newspapers in the niche of social media.

“If you want to know what’s going on in your town — whether the news is about the mayor or taxes or high school football — there is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job,” wrote Warren Buffett in a March 2013 letter to his shareholders, after he purchased 28 local daily newspapers in a span of 15 months,” says State Point Media

In an article about Buffet’s decision to buy newspapers, states,

“If there’s one thing Warren Buffett knows, it’s how to earn the most money in the smartest way. Buffett, the “Oracle of Omaha,” understands that the newspaper industry isn’t dead. It would be wise for publishers to listen to what he’s got to say.

Inland Press reports that in Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, he successfully explains why he believes in the newspaper industry and how publishers everywhere can turn their profits and readership around.”

The article goes on to explain the need for newspapers and how they can be successful.

While some argue that print is dying and digital cannot be the savior- many disagree.

Some claim that the saving grace could be the use of advertisements.

“If there’s a silver lining, it’s that online ad sales continue to grow, although far below the rate needed to sustain newspaper businesses. Online ad revenue over the year increased 3.6 percent to $759 million. Poynter points out that even with the slight increase of online ad revenue, that incremental gain doesn’t cover print losses — not even close, by a 10 to 1 ratio.” Says Josh Sternberg in his article, Time for Newspapers to Go All Digital.

One thing is clear to see though, the newspaper will be around a little bit longer.


Time for Newspapers to Go All Digital

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism