The Falmouth Enterprise, Inquirer and Mirror and The New Haven Independent are just a few examples of publications with loyal local readers and successful financial models in the current media landscape. The right combination of print, digital and circulation revenue help support platforms that provide valuable news coverage at the community level.
“People will support local journalism that’s high quality,” said Bass. “I think we’re seeing the beginnings of the rebirth of local journalism.”
Along the way we’ve worked with many associations who have helped provide valuable resources to news organizations and others in the publishing industry. Here’s a recently updated list of groups that we think support journalists, publishers, advertising staff and others involved in the media in an outstanding way:
National & Regional Resources
The News Media Alliance – Serves more than 2,000 members of news organizations across the US; formerly known as the Newspaper Association of America.
Local Media Association – Serves more than 3,000 local media companies across the US including newspapers, tv, radio and more.
American Press Institute – This institute conducts research, provides training and creates valuable tools for journalists
AFCP/IFPA – (Association of Free Community Publications & Independent Free Papers of America) – Joining forces, this group looks to support all members of the free community newspaper industry.
Pew Research Center – “Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.”
Online News Association – The Online News Association is a nonprofit membership organization for digital journalists — connecting journalism, technology and innovation.
American Media Institute – American Media Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) investigative news service that delivers original reporting to major news outlets across the country.
America’s Newspapers – From its very creation, America’s Newspapers proclaimed that a core mission would be advocacy on behalf of its members, the industry and the free press.
New England Press Association – The professional trade organization for newspapers in the six New England states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island, representing 450 newspapers in the region.
Local newspapers not only offer citizens of the communities they cover unique insights into important issues and events in the area, but some go above and beyond to add a smile to their readers faces.
The Winston County Journal does just that, especially during the holidays. In their annual Christmas sections, they not only feature the classic “Letters to Santa”, but they also publish “Letters of Gratitude”, where local children share stories about the people and things they’re grateful for in life. This feature may be appreciated more than ever this year.
Here’s a brief snapshot of this community newspaper:
History: The Winston County Journal was founded in 1892 by William C. Hight and covers Winston County, Mississippi community. The newspaper is presently owned by Emmerich Newspapers, a third-generation newspaper company.
Coverage: The Journal serves Winston County with news, upcoming events, sports and all community happenings, each Wednesday.
Readership & Advertising Opportunities The Winston County Journal has a paid circulation of 3,000+ print subscribers. With every print ad purchase, The Winston County Journal will also place ads on its website and promote the advertiser on its social media channels. For additional advertising opportunities in surrounding areas, ads may be purchased in conjunction with its sister newspapers – the Choctaw Plaindealer (1,700 print subscribers) and Webster Progress Times (2,300 print subscribers).
MediaBids is working on a series of short posts spotlighting notable community publications across the U.S. If you’d like to submit your publication for consideration, please email Jessica Greiner – email@example.com
Our local news media businesses and organizations sit at the crossroads of pretty much everything that make our communities work.
Our local newspapers provide a place for local business to advertise to their local customers. Our papers cover local government and politics and help to keep citizens informed. Without our local papers there’s almost no transparency, citizenship is stymied, the credibility and authority of our local governments is undermined. This all means healthy local news organizations are a necessary prerequisite for strong local economies, thriving communities and local democracy.
Local news was struggling with competitive pressures well before the pandemic. But since March and the sudden and massive decline in local advertising dollars, many local newspapers are barely hanging on. This is why the ”Local Journalism Sustainability Act” is an important attempt at supporting local news orgs and better local journalism. Please link to more info about this proposed legislation here. Also, call the U.S. Congress switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Congressperson. Don’t know who represents you? Click this lookup page. Then make the call. Do it today!
I tend to be a later adopter of things. I’m not a luddite by any means. But I still prefer CDs for music. I mean c’mon, the sound is far better than digital listening. I also still prefer newspapers and magazines in print rather than digital formats. I absolutely much prefer an actual book to an audio or reader version.
But I’m no luddite. Case in point, I listen to podcasts. Fact check: I listen to A LOT of podcasts.
I still haven’t listened to ”Serial,” the podcast that seemed to put podcasting on the map. But I do listen to other popular podcasts such as NYT’s ”The Daily,” ”In the Dark,” Slate’s ”The Political Gabfest” and the Ringer Network’s ”Bill Simmons Podcast” among many others that focus on politics and urbanism. If you’re already a podcast listener and you’re looking for something new, here’s a few lists of ”best podcasts of 2018:”
Advertisers and publishers are somewhat like me in that so far they’re still late adopters of podcasting. Pods have been around for at least fifteen years and season one of the first podcasting hit, ”Serial,” originally aired in 2014. Yet spending on podcasts is still under $400 million annually in the U.S. (in a $200 billion ad spend market.) So ad spending on podcasts is still relatively small but emerging.
On the publisher side of things, despite the success of ”The Daily” from the New York Times, podcasts from media properties, especially print media are still somewhat few and far between. Quick…name another one! Mother Jones, is one example, that does a great podcast for those inclined to listen about politics with a liberal lean. Also, shout out to my local daily paper that does a daily podcast on local news – The Morning Record.
Generally speaking podcasting is exploding but if one works in publishing or advertising there’s a surprisingly limited number of podcasts worth your time. Here’s an unofficial list (from this unofficial podcast reviewer) of the better podcasts that focus on topics in content and advertising:
There are many more podcasts that focus on more specific content and advertising topics – social media, site traffic, content marketing, affiliate marketing etc. etc. We’ll focus on a few of these in a future post.
In the meantime, consider giving these ad industry podcasts a try. Better late than never!
Let’s not get carried away, Facebook is still the world’s second most visited internet site (after YouTube.) But no one can deny that the past two years have been bumpy for the leading social media company. Privacy scandals, post-2016 election revelations of Facebook’s failure to more forcefully counter the sharing of ”false news,” and an unpopular change to Facebook’s algorithms have all contributed to user defections and declining site visits.
Indeed even if some of the decline intraffic to Facebook is actually due to their users spending more time on other apps, Facebook’s Instagram and Messenger for example, Facebook’s much publicized announcement yesterday to invest in local journalism is as much about the priorities of Facebook’s core businesses, as it is an attempt to make amends for recent missteps.
First, what exactly are we talking about here? Facebook is granting over $300 million to a select group of journalism nonprofit partners including the Pulitzer Center, the American Journalism Project, the Local Media Association and several others. The grants are to fund the hiring of journalists to focus on local news and content as well as the development of technology for better ”storytelling and newsgathering.” Here’s a roundup of reporting on the story:
Second, why invest in local news and content? Because it is the backboneof social media sites, especially Facebook. Nearly half of Facebook users get news on the site and about half of those users share or comment on the news. In short, news is vital to Facebook’s audience engagement and community building.
Third, why are news audiences important? Aside from the fact that publications need subscribers and readers, news consumers tend to be better educated and have average to above-average household incomes. Advertisers value print publications and digital news platforms because they are ”trusted environments” for their brands. But social media users have said they tend to not have as much trust in the news they find on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Without trusted content, Facebook smartly knows they’ll have a harder time attracting advertisers and developing new revenue streams. Given that news consumers are most likely to trust strong local journalism, Facebook’s investments in local news production is a straightforward play for increasing trust, increasing engagement and increasing revenues.
The ”ugly Christmas sweater” has long been a part of the holidays for many (tongue-in-cheek or not.) But one of the largest daily newspapers in northern Europe – Helsingin Sanomat – is very creatively and purposely putting a new spin on the ugly sweater tradition.
To highlight journalism’s important role in bringing reality and truth to the public.
To raise serious issues – like climate change, #Metoo, war, digital manipulation and plastics in our ocean – and to celebrate and recognize the work of activists and leaders in these areas.
According to AdAge, ”the sweaters were sent to celebrities and influencers who work on these issues, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Leonardo DiCaprio for climate change, Nobel Peace Prize winners Martti Ahtisaari, Malala Youszafai and Nadia Murad for war, Tarana Burke and Alyssa Milano for sexual harassment.” Also, each sweater was made and sourced locally in Finland and the paper ran an article focused on each issue.
Taken together – the whole effort is a big win in terms of highlighting the importance of journalism and media in our world. It’s also a strong example of how creativity and marketing can be powerful, serve a larger purpose and serve business objectives all at once.
Monday Pew Research published their latest findings re: Americans and where they get their news. The headline was ”Social media outpaces print newspapers in the U.S. as a news source.” Pew’s analysis is that with about 20% of Americans now indicating they often get their news from social media, ”print newspapers” dropped below social media for the first time. So why our headline here that ”Newspapers Maintain Their Dominance?”
TV outpaces every other individual media source noted in the study including: news websites, radio, social media and print newspapers. Setting aside that none of these media distinctions really mean much to news consumers and that this is all basically just inside baseball, here’s how these news sources rank:
Television – 46%
News websites – 33%
Radio – 26%
Social Media – 20%
Print Newspapers – 16%
Respondents were asked to answer the question of where do they most often get their news. Pew notes that this is the first time social media has garnered a higher percentage than print newspapers. Nothing against Pew Research but as big believers in print publications – both news and consumer brands – we take some issue with the portrayal of newspapers suffering a loss of news consumers (and therefore value) due to more Americans getting their news via ”other” sources.
Over the past three to four years it’s commonly known that news consumption is way up. Technology and the Trump era have combined to heighten American’s appetite for information and quality news sources. Indeed, the New York Times has had a big surge in subscribers (both digital and print) since Trump started calling the paper the ”failing New York Times.”
But in all seriousness (and despite the actual decline in metro daily newspaper print circulations), newspapers are still the dominant news source by far. I’m not the average news consumer and I get 100% of my news via reporters on Twitter and the Twitter feeds of newspapers. This isn’t typical for my age group (45-54.) But I then sometimes share some of these newspaper articles from Twitter on Facebook. This distribution of news across channels is typical. My local daily and weekly newspapers also share much of their reporting on Twitter and Facebook. This is then circulated by social media users on multiple platforms. So the particular media (TV, radio, news websites, social media etc.) where consumers get their news is a distinction without a real difference.
Much of local and cable TV news is driven by newspaper reporting. Cable news broadcasters and personalities regularly quote sources at newspapers. Radio news updates are generally a rehashing of the days newspaper headlines. News websites are regularly among the sites with the most views and clicks. The reality of news consumption is that the specific media matters very little and ”print newspapers” or news platforms are still the dominant source of news for most Americans.
Many Americans are aware of Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum. We’ve been reading about the effects on companies like Harley Davidson, BMW and Alcoa. Americans are also probably aware of our emerging $500 billion ”trade war” with China. Tariffs that are impacting what we pay for a whole range of products we import from China.
But we’d bet few Americans are as aware that in retaliation to Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, Canada slapped tariffs on paper and other goods. In fairness to the President, there has been long-running trade tensions between the U.S. and Canada about timber and timber products. Trump didn’t exactly create this issue. Nevertheless Canada’s paper tariffs are wreaking havoc on the newspaper industry, an industry that especially in terms of metro dailies can ill afford new and massive cost pressures.
Here’s a brief roundup of some of the great reporting on where things now stand:
These tariffs have already cost newspaper industry jobs and if this goes on long newspapers will be forced to go out of business. This is especially a problem given that the press is already enduring a period of heightened attacks. What can you do?