Maybe you’re reading this column in newsprint. Maybe you’re looking at it on your phone, or your computer at work. Maybe you got the link through an email and gave it a click, or you parachuted in from Facebook or Twitter.
Any way you slice it, I’m still getting my point across, right?
Since I made a pivot a few years ago from the editorial side to the publisher’s desk, one of the first things I realized was the similarity of mission: to get the word out. That’s the whole deal, for advertisements and breaking news stories alike. We have these great things to say and messages to send, and we try to get them to the people who want or need to see them.
People often remark to me about the decline of print. And it’s true: Newspapers, daily newspapers in particular, have seen their monopoly on local journalism erode significantly this century — largely for reasons of their own making, but that’s a topic for another day. And there are a lot of other ways to get news — though most of the biggest stories originate in print.
But it’s equally true that people are consuming more journalism than ever before in the history of this country. And they’re getting it from a variety of media — which, remember, refers only to the means of conveyance, and not the messages themselves.
And that’s where it starts to become muddy. Triad City Beat engages readers through our weekly print paper, but also through our website, our social media presence, our email lists and our events — just like NPR engages through live radio, a website, podcasts, email lists and every other channel they can harness.
Most weeks, TCB has more readers in print than it does online. Doubtless that will one day change — a bridge to be crossed another day — but even then, we will still make a print product, because it will always be a great way to reach people where they are… as long as they pick it up.
That’s the other thing about print: It’s only as good as what you put on the paper.