Newspapers are here to stay, really

Opinion Oct 09, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

I’m guessing that relatively few of my readers will know that we’re in the midst of National Newspaper Week, a time where my industry celebrates our achievements and reminds the world that, yes, we’re still here and, no, we’re not going away anytime soon.

As a lover of newspapers, I’m tempted to wax rhapsodic about the joys of holding it in your hand, never quite knowing what delights you’ll find inside to excite, entertain or elucidate. As a journalist, I’m tempted to tell you about all the times I’ve written or edited something that has made a difference in the community. As an advocate for the newspaper industry, I’m tempted to rattle off readership data which says newspapers are still the best read, most trusted source of news.

But instead, I’m going to talk business.

On Monday it was announced that Postmedia had agreed to buy the English language community and daily newspapers owned by Quebecor in a deal worth over $300-million.  Let that sink in for a second. A company whose aim it is to make profits for shareholders decided to spend over $300-million to buy 175 publications tied to an industry that conventional wisdom says will be deader than disco within five years.

What were they thinking?

Truth be told, what they were thinking is all about making money in the long term.

Neither the Internet, nor mobile will kill the printed newspaper. Don’t believe me? Well answer this question then: when you look for your local news on the web or via your phone or tablet, where’s that news coming from? Research shows that in most cases it’s your local newspaper, even above other established news outlets. And while it is true that advertisers are spending less in print than they used to, a good-sized chunk of the ad revenue is coming back to the paper through digital ads on our websites.

OK, but that just means that they’ll always be newspaper newsrooms, but not necessarily the ink-on-dead-trees version that gets dropped off at my home every Thursday.

Except that research shows once again that people read physical newspapers differently than they do the virtual versions: reasons that will keep us in print.

For one, readers spend more time reading print editions. Online, a large number of readers come to websites looking for a specific story and after reading it, they leave. However, when someone decides to sit down to read the paper, they see it as reading the whole paper, and while most won’t read every article, they will flip past every page giving the reader an opportunity to discover something they didn’t know they were interested in and giving advertisers a better chance to get their message seen.

Also, for papers like those of Hamilton Community News, our distribution is better than the Internet’s. We land on every doorstep in our coverage areas once a week and offer local news, features, information and ads to the very people who want it, whereas I’m still receiving online ads based on the fact that I booked a hotel in Kansas City on my summer vacation.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News.

Newspapers are here to stay, really

Opinion Oct 09, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

I’m guessing that relatively few of my readers will know that we’re in the midst of National Newspaper Week, a time where my industry celebrates our achievements and reminds the world that, yes, we’re still here and, no, we’re not going away anytime soon.

As a lover of newspapers, I’m tempted to wax rhapsodic about the joys of holding it in your hand, never quite knowing what delights you’ll find inside to excite, entertain or elucidate. As a journalist, I’m tempted to tell you about all the times I’ve written or edited something that has made a difference in the community. As an advocate for the newspaper industry, I’m tempted to rattle off readership data which says newspapers are still the best read, most trusted source of news.

But instead, I’m going to talk business.

On Monday it was announced that Postmedia had agreed to buy the English language community and daily newspapers owned by Quebecor in a deal worth over $300-million.  Let that sink in for a second. A company whose aim it is to make profits for shareholders decided to spend over $300-million to buy 175 publications tied to an industry that conventional wisdom says will be deader than disco within five years.

What were they thinking?

Truth be told, what they were thinking is all about making money in the long term.

Neither the Internet, nor mobile will kill the printed newspaper. Don’t believe me? Well answer this question then: when you look for your local news on the web or via your phone or tablet, where’s that news coming from? Research shows that in most cases it’s your local newspaper, even above other established news outlets. And while it is true that advertisers are spending less in print than they used to, a good-sized chunk of the ad revenue is coming back to the paper through digital ads on our websites.

OK, but that just means that they’ll always be newspaper newsrooms, but not necessarily the ink-on-dead-trees version that gets dropped off at my home every Thursday.

Except that research shows once again that people read physical newspapers differently than they do the virtual versions: reasons that will keep us in print.

For one, readers spend more time reading print editions. Online, a large number of readers come to websites looking for a specific story and after reading it, they leave. However, when someone decides to sit down to read the paper, they see it as reading the whole paper, and while most won’t read every article, they will flip past every page giving the reader an opportunity to discover something they didn’t know they were interested in and giving advertisers a better chance to get their message seen.

Also, for papers like those of Hamilton Community News, our distribution is better than the Internet’s. We land on every doorstep in our coverage areas once a week and offer local news, features, information and ads to the very people who want it, whereas I’m still receiving online ads based on the fact that I booked a hotel in Kansas City on my summer vacation.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News.

Newspapers are here to stay, really

Opinion Oct 09, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

I’m guessing that relatively few of my readers will know that we’re in the midst of National Newspaper Week, a time where my industry celebrates our achievements and reminds the world that, yes, we’re still here and, no, we’re not going away anytime soon.

As a lover of newspapers, I’m tempted to wax rhapsodic about the joys of holding it in your hand, never quite knowing what delights you’ll find inside to excite, entertain or elucidate. As a journalist, I’m tempted to tell you about all the times I’ve written or edited something that has made a difference in the community. As an advocate for the newspaper industry, I’m tempted to rattle off readership data which says newspapers are still the best read, most trusted source of news.

But instead, I’m going to talk business.

On Monday it was announced that Postmedia had agreed to buy the English language community and daily newspapers owned by Quebecor in a deal worth over $300-million.  Let that sink in for a second. A company whose aim it is to make profits for shareholders decided to spend over $300-million to buy 175 publications tied to an industry that conventional wisdom says will be deader than disco within five years.

What were they thinking?

Truth be told, what they were thinking is all about making money in the long term.

Neither the Internet, nor mobile will kill the printed newspaper. Don’t believe me? Well answer this question then: when you look for your local news on the web or via your phone or tablet, where’s that news coming from? Research shows that in most cases it’s your local newspaper, even above other established news outlets. And while it is true that advertisers are spending less in print than they used to, a good-sized chunk of the ad revenue is coming back to the paper through digital ads on our websites.

OK, but that just means that they’ll always be newspaper newsrooms, but not necessarily the ink-on-dead-trees version that gets dropped off at my home every Thursday.

Except that research shows once again that people read physical newspapers differently than they do the virtual versions: reasons that will keep us in print.

For one, readers spend more time reading print editions. Online, a large number of readers come to websites looking for a specific story and after reading it, they leave. However, when someone decides to sit down to read the paper, they see it as reading the whole paper, and while most won’t read every article, they will flip past every page giving the reader an opportunity to discover something they didn’t know they were interested in and giving advertisers a better chance to get their message seen.

Also, for papers like those of Hamilton Community News, our distribution is better than the Internet’s. We land on every doorstep in our coverage areas once a week and offer local news, features, information and ads to the very people who want it, whereas I’m still receiving online ads based on the fact that I booked a hotel in Kansas City on my summer vacation.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News.