By Aziza Jackson
Knight Fellow in Community Journalism, University of Alabama
[Download the research report]
There is still life in print news. A new survey of almost 1,000 Alabama news consumers found about 43 percent of them preferred to get their local news from print editions of the Alabama newspapers they read most regularly. An equal percent preferred to receive their news from the Web sites of the newspapers. Here is the shocker: The survey was administered online, but even this Web-friendly audience responded positively to the print editions.
This finding may surprise some, but not all. An overwhelming majority of 21 Alabama community newspaper editors and publishers interviewed agreed that print news remains alive and well. Some said the idea of print’s demise is myth—a non-applicable prediction that separates the future of larger metropolitan newspapers from smaller community newspapers of Alabama. Others were sure print news is in a state of evolution—a product of a changing world that now consists of technology-driven consumers that rely on the most up-to-date information available to them.
“With the demise of print journalism when radio became popular, and the demise of print journalism when television became popular, and the demise of print journalism when Internet became popular, am I looking at a Frankenstein monster?” said Goodloe Sutton, Sr., editor and publisher of the Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Ala. Read the rest of this entry »