Newspapers aren’t dead yet

Last week I wrote about the decreasing reach of newspapers for telling your story to the community at large. While some of that decrease is due to falling readership, a situation that is likely to get even worse if you live in a community where the main daily newspaper is about to create a paywall and pull the rug out from under online readers who have grown used to the paper giving away content for free online, one newspaper in California thinks that falling readership is really about the content itself. This morning, National Public Radio ran an article about the Orange County Register and its recent growth and hiring spurt, where the newspaper leadership has found that improving the news content is bringing back subscribers. Read and listen.

This experiment goes against the path followed by most newspapers, where dwindling advertising revenue caused staff reductions, many of which led to less local news content. The other interesting part of this story is that this particular newspaper is concentrating on its print paper over the digital version of the paper.

One thing is sure – if your newspaper is growing, and if the number of print subscribers is growing, that newspaper could be an effective place to reach members of the public whose demographics match your message. The key is knowing and trusting those demographics.