Print versions of newspapers are not doing as well compared to their online counterparts. One of the problems is that print newspapers are static; web versions are dynamic. Reading Tuesday’s print version is basically a rehash of Monday’s online version.
Is there a future for print versions of newspapers or are they dead?
I’m optimistic and believe the print version is still alive. Internet access is not ubiquitous. Reading a newspaper online is not always convenient. How many people read online while taking the train to work? How many people do the crossword puzzle online while at the local coffee shop?
Blogs and Newspapers
BostonNOW incorporates blogging as a way to make its newspaper more relevant. This paper allows you to create a blog and your posts appear immediately in the online version. BostonNow features some of these blog entries in their print version.
This method may prove successful. However, I believe it has more potential if BostonNOW focuses on news from Boston’s neighborhoods. This is a great way to get the best from bloggers. Use bloggers to learn what the heart of East Boston thinks, what the issues are in Dorchester, Roxbury, and South Boston, and so on. National news is important but if I can read it in the Globe why do I need BostonNow!
BostonNow needs to include bloggers from the college community. College newspapers usually have an edge and I’d like to read some articles from tomorrow’s journalists.
Wikis and Reader-Written Newspapers
Wikipedia has an “In the News” section. Why not combine a wiki and a newspaper to have a reader-written newspaper. A wiki newspaper makes it easy to keep news stories up-to-date. It provides an easy way to write and to contribute. Like BostonNOW, make a print version available.
Here are some wiki-style news sources.
Newspapers as NonProfits
Some people suggest that the future of newspapers are to become nonprofit organizations. Making a newspaper a nonprofit appears to have some benefits. I think it makes the newspaper a more community-oriented voice. I’m not sure how this affects advertising but it is a concept worth considering.
National news is available anywhere. You can read any major daily, domestic or international, online. Local and alternative news is harder to find. This is where print versions can make a difference. Local news affects your daily life. It is the story of your community. It matters!
Please share your comments with me.