Local Newspapers Hanging On Amidst Industry Downturn

from the keep-it-local dept

While the newspaper industry continues to struggle, not everyone is hurting. Small newspapers that have a circulation below 50,000 (via Romenesko) continue to perform well. It's not too hard to see why. While large newspapers face plenty of competition on the web, small newspapers, with their focus on local news, remain fairly insulated. For advertisers looking to reach these small markets, the newspaper remains the best, if not only, choice. Publishers also say they benefit from a certain level of intimacy and familiarity with the readership that's difficult for others to match. Of course this begs the question: do these newspapers have a sustainable advantage, or is it only a matter of time before the fate that's befallen their larger kin visits them, as well? There's no doubt that a lot of companies are looking to get into local advertising and content online, although so far none seem to have fully cracked the code. Local newspapers that rest on their laurels and assume that the community will always be there to support them will get blindsided when better online options emerge. The companies that succeed will be the ones that actually take to heart the rhetoric about knowing the audience and delivering them something of value. Of course, they'll have to keep innovating, particularly on the web, since that's where the competition is going to come from, but they have the advantage of getting to see how the larger papers stumbled, so they should at least know what not to do.


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(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Lewis Salem, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 6:22am

    There is a place for local news.

    I believe that there is, and always will be, a place for local news. I would say that my local news consumption is up because of the Internet. I still get the paper on Sunday, however, I read the local news website every day.

    I'm sure that with a major investment in their websites, local newspapers can compete with the "Big Box" stores by delivering their news from a local perspective.

    Of course, there's more competition now!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    The Man, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 8:29am

    Suffering from Geekism

    Those on this site live in their little tech geek world where the Internet is the best thing since sliced cheese. In the real, day to day world, the internet is a side thought. A much higher percentage of the population view the Internet as a way to only view porn, shop and maybe look up medical crap and other random information. In that high percentage, no one thinks they must view the web everyday, get music from the web, watch stupid and boring video clips on the web, etc. TV, Newspapers and real books and radio are what are considered real entertainment and news sources.

    I know you love the internet, but again, only a small percentage of people get thier news from the internet. Granted, if 10-15% of the population gets news from the Internet that is a crap load of people, but still a small percetage. Their are other reasons that papers are not popular. Reason one, editors and writers have a political opinion. That opionon is carried out through the paper, either right or left, and that turns off half the population. The other, and I think more relevent reason, is TV and radio news and talk shows. Their are 25,000 24 hour news channels on TV and enough political talk radio shows that you never need to stop hearing about Scooter Libby.

    In conclusion, just remember there is a world outside of the Internet that affects things more than the Internet does. Percentage of usefull things on the Internet is still fairly low, as is the usage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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