Our newspaper is still profitable, but not by much. Should we stop printing the paper and go online or is there something about printing the paper that is worth keeping? Pick a side and argue your point.
That’s a tough question, in all honesty I may have to side with going online from paper. The reason for that is so many people now a days are looking at their screens and surfing the web nonstop. Now it’s true people do still pick up newspapers as it’s simple and it’s not a hassle of trying to get the site loaded or have to worry about getting errors at times when you need to read something in a quick time. It’s really a toss up to to say the least, it’s just I feel more people are on the internet reading articles and finding the news, they don’t have to leave their house just to get the paper, and only read certain parts of it which in a way could be wasting money for your pocket. Besides that, so many youth automatically go for their phone or device when they want to find soe thing or read soe thing which could gain you a bigger audience in a matter of days or weeks and another useful thing about going online is that they can print certain articles or stories they want to from the news paper and spread it around or carry it with them, so I think doing the virtual route may be beneficial in the long run of things.
Seeing as we are still making a profit with the printed paper, what do you think of having both a physical and online presence? If we did only online, how will we make our profits?
The news has really moved towards our electronic platforms instead of actual printed paper. I do believe that we should still print our newspaper and sell hardy copies, but the internet presence is an important aspect to think about. I get ninety percent of my news electronically from the internet, so I feel that we should bring our newspaper to an online platform. The only news that I read from a printed newspaper is when I am standing in a checkout line at the store, to be honest. There will always be people that seek out printed copies of the newspaper, but I feel that the number of such people is dwindling. I visit the Fairbanks Daily News Miner’s website daily to get my local news and they are constantly updating news stories that the printed paper cannot do. Breaking news is readily available online and at our fingertips with our electronic devices. So yes, we do need to go online with our newspaper, but we shouldn’t just stop printing our paper, all together, because we will lose a reader base if we do that. The solution may be to just simply print less than we are today. Also, we may be able to generate more revenue if we have an online presence because merchants will be more willing to advertise with us online. Being seen online has a much further reach than print and merchants will get more bang for their buck with this kind of advertising.
It’s fairly obvious that print news is declining. For proof, just go to any coffee shop and you will find that the number of people with e-readers, laptops, and smart phones vastly eclipse the number of people reading a printed newspaper. This is a digital age, and it would be suicidal on our part not to have an online presence. With ease of access, instant updates, and the portability of a digital platform, many more people would be willing to read it. “But what about our loyal subscribers who prefer the printed version?” If the profits that come from advertising on our dwindling printed version were enough to keep us afloat, we wouldn’t be having this discussion right now. So clearly, we need to shift with the times and upload ourselves to the web. There is an option, however, if we would like to keep a print edition. Weekend papers (especially the Sunday editions), see substantially higher sales than weekday papers. If we would just print weekend editions that included enough material to sustain them for the next week, there is a chance that we could make fairly good profits off of them. Thus saving our print edition while also having a greater, more widely viewed online presence.
You have a point with only having a weekend edition. And it could be advertised with online content. As in “for the rest of the story, be sure to check it out, only in the Weekend Edition”
One thing I think we need to be aware of when considering an only online presence is how much profit we’ll make. I know that sometimes profits seem a shallow means to determine business decisions, but our newspaper is a business. Now – when I say how much profit we’ll make, I mean how much we might /lack/ in profit by going just online. Our text states that “online readers are simply not worth as much as print readers” (89). While we may experience much higher readership with online articles, we might see a significant decrease in profits, which may or may not be enough to sink our business. Readers expect free information online. They aren’t likely to put out money when they can simply go to a different site, free of charge, to get the same information. This is a point made in our readings (page 89), and I think it’s a very important message to keep in mind. If you’re a statistics type of person, 77% (3/4) of people say they will not pay for online newspapers (90).
My point being, we’re still making a profit with our print version of the Haveman, so why switch to only online? I’ve mentioned this in my posts before, but there is just something about having knowledge in a tangible, physical form that creates trust that an online presence cannot do. Yes, we may have a reputable and credible reputation that could follow us online, but in my opinion it wouldn’t be the same. As long as there is readership, we should continue making a physical newspaper. If there are still people out there who clip articles, read the comics, share stories with their family/friends, there is still worth in them. As long as we’re making a profit, there shouldn’t be any argument against keeping hard copying other than the climbing pressure to convert to online.
Granted, this pressure can be a lot at times. Everything is online. Therefore, I do not oppose an online presence: I simply oppose an only online presence. I’d like to take this time to say that we can see continued profits from both if we come up with a good business plan. In my mind, here is how it could work. Our online presence, while important, shouldn’t get the most attention. If we’re looking for a profit from online, then we can check into advertisements (with which we should tread carefully) or paywalls (which people might not be willing to comply with). If we keep up with physical copies of our paper (which we should), we need to be original. I’ve had this opinion for a long time, and I love discussing it: News has become very biased. I see it a lot with political undertones. “A journalist is a person who works with collecting, writing and distributing news and other current information” (follow the link at the bottom of my reply). It might not be evident or extremely obvious in some cases, but hard-hitting journalism has kind of diminished. I agree with the text on page 92 when it states “ever since the days of the penny press, newspapers have been dominated by soft news.” Soft news, then, is important. However, people are turning to online sources for hard news. If we can bring hard news (straight-forward, non-biased information) we could stop the retirement of hard copy newspapers. Putting new, important, and intriguing information in our paper will draw in and sustain readership.
In conclusion: We should maintain our physical paper, while looking into establishing a less extensive online presence and putting more effort into the quality of our journalism.
I agree with having a presence in print and online. We need to advance with the digital times, but also maintain our past with print. Because most online newspapers are providing free content to its user, until we can establish a way to make a profit online, keeping our print will still provide us with revenue. Making changes to our print as we do this will also help us stay in business.
Though I am a big supporter of changing with the times and becoming more technologically advanced, with regards to Internet and application availability, I believe we need to ensure that we are doing all that is possible to keep our newspaper in print. Once we decide to go digital, we will lose the readers we do have, and if we do not succeed online, we will not gain them back. Also, how will we earn our online income? The majority of online-users expect to receive the information they want for free, and even if we do charge per issue or online subscription, unless it’s select information only we can provide, these same users will be able to find it on some other site.
Not only do we have to ask ourselves if our paper is worth keeping in print despite the cost of distribution, but also what we are willing to change or modify in our paper. Can we localize our paper and offer it to a smaller community with more centralized reporting to make it more appealing? Can we offer local stores a chance to distribute their flyers in our papers for consumers to buy? Is our paper offering hard news, with great journalism? We do not want to make the mistake of picking quantity (trying to increase profit and revenue) by sacrificing quality. Can we adopt a made for teen or young adult column. Since readers who access news and article information online are mostly in this age group, we can offer an online only newspaper, with free content available to them, while delivering the hard news in print. This way we gain readership online, free of cost besides web-page set up, and keep our print distribution.
I like your ideas for the younger audience and it got me thinking that a good way to ensure an older audience would be a health and vitality section, which could also tote a variety of input and ads from our local alternative health care practitioners.
I think having both an online and physical presence would be the best decision to make at this point. Yes, the demand for printed newspapers are declining, but the demand for NEWS is not. While it is generally the older generations continuing to stick to printed news, most newspapers’ readerships are shifting to digital platforms. Having both printed and electronic news would cater to all our readers, no matter what platform they prefer. Additionally, with more and more focus shifting to all that is digital, we will be keeping ourselves relevant. If we decide to keep ourselves print-only, we will only go downhill. We have to keep up with our readers, and we have to follow the shifts that they follow in terms of reading platform.
Furthermore, with online news, we can have stories out instantly. People nowadays want to know what they need to know–and fast. It is only with online news that we can give our readers breaking news as soon as a story is ready to be told.
Like others are mentioning, this brings up the issue of revenue/keeping ourselves in print. I think there are definitely ways of doing just that, including charging for online subscriptions–even making a paid smartphone/tablet app.
I think that the time of the printed paper is soon coming to an end. with everything digitized these days and things can only become more digital from here on out it would probably just be better to stop printing. It would save tons of money, help the environment and you would get your news quicker. to ensure you are still making a profit once you stop printing the news you can charge an online fee for the subscription to the paper or create an app that charges the user once at download. by going digital with the paper you are saving the company unnecessary costs and increasing the profits.
If our newspaper is still making a profit, I say we keep printing it. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. People obviously like our paper, and all we have to do to keep the customers happy is keep on doing what we’ve been doing. If we stopped printing, people who really liked the paper might get upset.
However, I think it would be a wise move to start putting some information online at the same time. That way, if our paper stops being profitable, the transition to digital media would be smoother and easier.
Having a local newspaper is important. We are so connected globally, through corporate sponsored media, that we have neglected community roots. Many people are coming to realize this and take more comfort in reading the newspaper, rather than rely solely on digital media. The newspaper connects us locally.
Since generations of people are becoming more divided, I think it would be helpful to have sections for each age group. I personally would be interested to read a perspective from the younger portion of our populace. As well as hear the voice of wisdom from our elders. The news can be very different, according to who’s telling it. Having a weekly input from each of our schools could rally support for newspapers from high school, even grade school, students, as well as keep the community involved in school happenings.
Having an in-paper scavenger hunt might lure people to buy a newspaper and inadvertently help those to stay informed.
I think there are lots of ways to make a newspaper more desirable. Given that its biggest asset is local news, the future of newspapers will come from more community involvement. Instead of telling the “newsâ€ it might be more of a “Voice of the Peopleâ€.
I agree with many of my classmates. There is something to be said for going to only an online newspaper. Like someone said, most people these walk around with their noses buried in a smartphone, they don’t even look up to cross a street. Ok, not really but it seems that way. I, personally, get most of my news online because I just don’t want to bother with the hassle of paying for a subscription and then keeping up with it. I read the available stories on the News-miner every day from my phone, don’t have a subscription, so I’m probably missing some. I had a subscription to their print paper for a while, I’d glance at it, then toss it so it made more stuff to get rid of when I’d go to the dump. People today are more interested in convenience than taking a few minutes to sit down, relax, and enjoy flipping the pages of a print paper.
The Haveman Chronicle (Summer)
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