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Guest Column:

The newspaper industry is evolving, not dying By James Bright Texarkana Gazette Newspapers are dying. No one reads newspapers anymore. The advertising doesn’t work. These are the most com­ mon indictments of our business. A suspected casualty of the digital age, it is no secret that print publica­tions have had and continue to have a tough row to hoe.

consumption has changed. In our own house, we have Gazette associates that only read print and those who prefer only digi­tal. We have multiple audi­ences and given the tools at our disposal, we endeavor to cater to them all. That is part of our evolution.

Yet just this month Google, the king of all things digi­tal, spent tens of thousands of dollars in advertising to promote an event in Arkansas. There is no ignoring the subtext here. Arguably the largest company in the world that sets the standard for digital market­ing finds value in buying ads in newspapers.

Our digital platforms allow us to create a more robust dissemination of the news while also offering a plethora of marketing tools for our advertisers. The Gazette has evolved from a newspa­ per company to multimedia company, and we embrace this evolution. Today, news is more accessible than it has ever been and our goal has and always will be to create products that cut through falsehoods and hyperbole to provide hard­-hitting news steeped in the truth.

And this campaign isn’t ending in the Natural State. Google plans to host events in multiple geographic regions of the Union spending what will amount to millions of dollars in print advertising. Like anything, a lie that is constantly perpetuated is eventually regarded as the truth. And the real truth is newspapers are not dying, but they are evolving. Like any media, the public’s preferred

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

We endeavor to see our dig­ital audience grow because we can offer so much more through that medium than any other. But we are not abandoning print and nei­ther are advertisers. Marketing is far more nuanced than it’s ever been. We provide promotional

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approaches with a litany of opportunities that are both broad spectrum and surgical in practice. That is the goal of our evolution and the principal force behind our embracing this evolu­tion. We can serve the peo­ple who keep our doors open more effectively by manag­ing the dance of print and digital. We were blessed to see a good deal of print advertis­ ing come from Google to The Gazette this month. And while we are thankful for the revenue, we are more thankful for the clear message it sends. Newspapers, The Gazette and print media are not dying. That argument is a fallacy. In fact, we are growing, and in Texarkana, we are just getting started. James Bright is the general manager of the Texarkana Gazette in Texarkana. Email him at jbright@texarkanagazette. com. This column is reprinted from the Texarkana Gazette with permission.

July 18, 2019

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: July 18, 2019  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late-breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: July 18, 2019  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late-breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...