Thursday, October 15, 2009
‘Always be journalism’
An annual readership survey shows good news for small newspapers.
The National Newspaper Association, working with the research arm of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism, is completing its fourth year of research on the readership patterns of America’s community newspapers. The NNA, of which The South Reporter is a member, has been serving community newspapers since 1885. Early data from the survey was released in the recent edition of the NNA’s publication, Publishers Auxiliary.
Did you know 80 percent of America’s newspapers have a circulation of 15,000 or less?
Did you know there are about 8,000 community newspapers in America that fit that description? Did you know 86 million Americans read those community newspapers every week?
I’ve been asked repeatedly this year – “How’s the newspaper doing?” That’s due to the down economy and the stories many have read about the struggles of newspapers, particularly some of the large daily ones.
Community newspapers, like The South Reporter, and other small businesses are not immune to the tough times. Our advertising is down. But truth is, we’re doing OK because of our commitment to this community, our emphasis on local, local, local and because of you – our readers and advertisers. Our philosophy – community first – will never change.
The local newspaper is the primary source of information about the local community for 60 percent of the respondents – that’s four times greater than the second and third most popular sources of local news. Readers are 10 times more likely to get their news from their community newspaper than from the Internet.
A longtime, successful Alabama publisher said in Publishers Auxiliary, “There will always be journalism. There will always be the desire to clip out something that you can put on your refrigerator; that you can put in the family Bible.”
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