In recent years, many have predicted the agonizing demise of the newspaper. Those reading this from newsprint may dispute this. But just as the rumor of Mark Twain’s death sprang from reports of the illness of his cousin, James Ross Clemens, there is an element of truth. Newspapers, challenged by changes in the delivery of information, are evolving.
The irony is that many of those reading this today are doing so on their smartphones or tablets. The Dothan Eagle has a web site, but the bulk of the daily digital traffic comes through our mobile app or from social media. Our data reflects national trends – more and more, people carry a personal conduit to the information they want and need right in their pockets. Newspapers aren’t dying; instead they are, as comic strip character Calvin might explain to his imaginary tiger, Hobbes, “transmogrifying.”
This week, National Newspaper Week, presents an opportunity to consider that today’s information market is in flux. The internet has changed the information game, and anyone with data connection and a rudimentary understanding of computers can throw up a blog with information. Many play fast and loose with the truth and, too often, legitimate news providers are left to set the record straight.
Despite the economic challenges facing the industry, newspapers continue to provide reliable and accurate news reports, in-depth coverage and information on issues that affect the lives of readers. In a response to technological changes, newspapers have evolved to maintain Web presences and have moved to take advantage of the capabilities allowed by the internet, such as video feeds and blogs.
Today, this newspaper’s audience across print and digital platforms is at an all-time high. We are still the community information source of the Wiregrass and provide advertisers the best print and digital avenues to reach consumers.
We’re not ready to write the obituary for the daily newspaper. It will always be around -- whether folded on a coffee table or presented on a screen.