Just when you think the media business is dwindling and dying, along come a bunch of beacons of hope, some from the most unlikely of sources.
- After announcing that it would shudder its doors completely, the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers vows to keep alive at least the Birmingham publication, due to community outcry and support to keep the presses on.
- Filling the void created when the Birmingham Eccentric appeared doomed, local publisher SCN Communications Group launches The Paper, a monthly tabloid-style news magazine direct-mailed at no cost and available at newsstands.
- Just when the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press curtail daily home delivery, two brothers announce the launch of daily detroit newspaper, The Daily Press, offering home delivery seven days a week.
- On the heels of the closure of the Ann Arbor News newsdaily, comes two new Ann Arbor publications, one print and one electronic—the weekly A2 Journal and the launch of AnnArbor.com, respectively.
They say when a door closes, a window gets opened. Who knows what the long-term prospects are for these new print publications. What their emergence does prove, however, is that there is still an audience for the printed medium. Perhaps nothing can change that. It is a different experience than reading online or electronically. My gut tells me, of course, that the print media are simply staving off an inevitable outcome. But ya never know. The fact so many, so quick, are jumping into the fray to serve a perceived hungry audience at least tells us something…that print media (and their fans) won’t go quietly into that good night.
What’s exciting, and expected, for us as PR professionals, is the emergence of online news resources as alternatives, such as AnnArbor.com (there are others). This aspect of the phenomenon seems to support the notion that we are hungry for localized news and content, regardless of delivery. If the printed word isn’t the delivery vehicle of the future, we should be able to migrate to an online platform, if the jumpers in are strategic and smart about it. They need to think like the new Internet, not like legacy media.
Maybe they were right. Print media isn’t dying…it’s evolving. And you know what Darwin said about evolution: survival of the fittest!