Someone told me recently that, “…if you don’t have a presence on the web, you’re screwed!”
This can be said about newspapers. Today, a published report is making that statement a reality.
For the first time, more Americans are getting their news online than from traditional ink and paper.
This, according to the Pew Research Center, which found that the number of consumers using the web as their main news source surged from 24% to 40% in a year, overtaking the 35% who rely on newspapers.
Who is getting their news says allot about the state of newspapers. Younger people are migrating towards the web quickly.
Among those under 30, the web leaped from 34% percent to 59% percent as the leading source of news, tying with television, with newspapers lagging at 28%.
Up here in Canada, I found that a number of daily and weekly newspapers still haven’t made the complete switch to the World Wide Web.
One newspaper here, the daily Brockville Recorder & Times relies on it’s parent company to provide the bare basics of it’s website. The main page is virtually a mirror site of the company’s owned and operated newspapers.
There are no daily blogs by their local reporters, nor is there any local video news stories on their website, although there is a photo/video section, but it’s mostly for readers, not the journalism staff.
One website, Brocknews.ca, has taken advantage of the Recorder’s shortcomings.
Founded by Dale Elliot in 2007, the website has enabled itself to become a small force in news gathering on the web. As the only reporter/photographer and webmaster of the site, his reach is impressive.
Elliot covers stories the city Brockville, Leeds & Grenville County and it’s surrounding area. He also generates all advertising, all by himself.
Another local newspaper, the weekly Smiths Falls EMC doesn’t even have a news website. There only forte into the online world is a website that solicits printing business. (Click here!)
In order to survive, newspapers like the Smiths Falls EMC must adapt to the times and provide comprehensive information to their readers online. That cannot be done unless newspaper owners and publishers are willing to put ALL their resources towards web journalism.
By being behind the curve on the latest technology, these newspapers will find themselves in a never ending battle to find new readers.
Many of which, like FM radio, will have gone on to other sources to get their news & information.