Discussion #4

1.) Ad sales are being driven down because digital advertising is less expensive.How can local media outlets compete economically to sustain their operations?

  • Will citizens pay for news? Would you pay for news? How much would you pay? Per week? Per month?

 2.) Why are new deserts problematic? There is the internet after all. Why is or isn’t the internet a good replacement to address the demise of local reporting? Doesn’t a national outlet have more resources than a local newspaper? Explain pros 

3.) How can journalists create better relationships to the communities they represent?

1. This is a tough question to answer.

In an article from the Columbia Journalism Review (https://www.cjr.org/tow_center/8-strategies-saving-local-newsrooms.php), they recommend that local newspapers in fear of being shutdown in their communities should consider content partnerships. This not only creates a more stable environment for newspapers to publish, but it also allows news organizations to utilize different types of technology to further their chances of gaining new readers.

  • I do think citizens will pay for news. Many already do. According to the American Press Institute (https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey-research/paying-for-news/), many people begin to subscribe to a news source because of specific content they are creating — quality journalism deserves its fair share of the money.
  • I do subscribe to The Washington Post — when I joined, I believe the first three months of my subscription was only $1.99 each month. I can’t recall exactly how much the price is now but I don’t mind paying it. I will say that $15 and below per month is probably the safest bet in trying to persuade people to subscribe. I prefer paying yearly rates, but those are not always available. I plan on buying a subscription to the Houston Chronicle soon.

2. Internet reporting is a Catch-22. On the one hand, information is constantly being published and people can stay in the loop every second of every day. On the other hand, internet reporting is largely the cause for this so-called “fake news” era. People confuse gossip with actual journalism and therefore misinformation is spread to all corners of the globe.

National news outlets have way more resources than local publications, but you can’t expect The New York Times to report on the daily on-goings of Saugerties (the smallest city in New York). There just isn’t enough room to cover every local election, bill, crime, etc. in one publication. Plus, how could someone who has never heard of Saugerties care about its people.

Local media cannot be replaced. People may not realize how important it is to their everyday lives, but without it, people would never know what is going on in their communities.

3. Journalists should foster relationships with the communities they report in. For example, let’s say I’m not from Beaumont, but I move here to work for the Enterprise. I would begin to network with the other staff members first, but then I would branch out — attend community events, go to the city’s most popular restaurants and just talk to people. I would make sure they see my face because then they trust me and will hopefully talk if I need them to. There’s no sense in building a career in a place without connecting to its foundations.

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