By Phil Genco
The internet is putting newspapers out of business.
Anytime you need news, sports scores, opinions, humor, a phone number or any type of information, you obviously will use the internet which can provide you with anything you need very quickly.
So, why pick up a newspaper and take the time to read it?
We discussed this question in class last week and attempted to provide some reasons why the newspaper would be a better choice than other mediums. Here are some we came up with:
• Computer screens are bad for the eyes
• Phones are too small to read articles
• Good feel to holding the newspaper
• Possibility to read articles you won’t see elsewhere
These factors are weak and are unlikely to convince someone to pick up a newspaper.
People don’t like change. Older people read newspapers because that is what they have done their whole life, and it seems that there is strong consensus among college students that we can get along fine without newspapers by relying on the web for our news. It is easier, quicker and cheaper.
Newspapers need to figure out a way to keep their existing readers while drawing in new readers. Obviously, the first thing newspapers should do is use the internet in creative and innovative ways to attract a younger demographic of readers.
Not only do newspapers need to work with the internet, but they need to make some changes to the paper itself. Newspapers can focus on making themselves unique from the internet or can try to emulate the internet to attract a younger audience.
My suggestion is to do a little of both.
The content should be unique from that of the internet. A focus on community and local issues may help newspapers to separate themselves from the web by giving the readers something that they cannot find anywhere else.
A simple change in the cosmetics of the newspaper may draw some attention towards it. An emulation of the internet with the use of more colors, graphics and aesthetically pleasing attributes might pull in some new readers.
‘Regular people’ reporters or a subscriber’s forum that offers opinions in a blog format could bring an interactive aspect to a paper that young people appreciate.
What about advertising?
It is all about product placement. I think paying some celebrities to walk around with newspapers might just do the trick. We have a society of idolization and if Jay Z is pictured reading the newspaper instead of playing with his iphone, you might see an immediate increase in sales.