Sept. 28, 2010 — The way people consume information is changing rapidly, and we hear frequently the death of newspapers is imminent. Maybe people feel this way because they aren’t regular newspaper readers — our is published once a week — or they just don’t think that other people read newspapers as much as they did 10 years ago. If they’re referring to the printed newspaper, they are usually correct.
We’ve seen printed newspaper circulation declines for more than 10 years. However, many of us in the industry are, slowly but surely, realizing that we’re not in the printed-paper business, but in the information business. This transformation of our attitude about print has not been easy. Many of us like our printed-paper traditions, and our readers are very loyal.
Printed newspapers often sell out after elections, weather disasters and other significant events. People still buy copies of the newspaper when their child makes the honor roll or their team has a win, and for many, the newspaper obituary is the defining memorial for a loved one. Our paper is the paper of record; meaning government publishes legal notices each week.
Printed newspapers are one of the few mediums where people actually look forward to the advertising, and research indicates that ads are a desired part of the experience. The ritual of reading the weekly paper continues to be strong, and like other community newspapers we have experienced circulation stability and even growth in the past decade. Yet, we recognize the value of instant information on the Internet is readily apparent.
While we will always value our printed newspapers, we recognize many people turn to the Internet, and increasingly, on their cell phones as their initial news source. The good news for people who like the information they get from newspapers and want to see it continue is that in most American markets the number one source for local information is the newspaper’s Web site. A recent comScore survey ranked local newspaper Web sites first among all sources for trustworthiness, credibility and most informative place to find local content of all types, including news, information, entertainment and sports.
Newspaper Web sites have the devoted readership and we are no exception. We covet that relationship and it only reassures us that ultimately we will be here for years to come.
The way that people get their information is changing, but our newsroom has more people dedicated to information gathering than any other area media outlets combined and no one covers local news better, with more accuracy and more in depth than the paper.
Your paper will continue to report the news that is relevant to you and your community. You can be assured of continued change, but you can also expect the paper will be around tomorrow, providing local information better than everyone else in a multitude of options.
We encourage you to bookmark our Web site, lassennews.com, and continue to read the paper for the latest news and local sales. Keep scissors handy to cut out important keepsake information for scrapbooks as a continuing history of Lassen County life.
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