It never fails when I’m traveling to an industry event and someone I encounter in a hotel or airport asks me what I do, that I hear some version of “No one reads the paper anymore — everyone gets their news on their computer or phone.”
My response to these never-ending predictions of print’s demise is generally a comment on the resiliency and inventiveness of this industry and the people in it.
At News & Tech, we have the unique vantage point of talking to the people behind the scenes of newspaper’s survival — the ones that come up with the ideas that ultimately give their products new life. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of the faces and shaken the hands of a lot of the people that walk that walk every day — from digital and new media department heads, to press and mailroom operators. And the air of positivity that’s returned to this industry, particularly over the past year or so, is nothing short of awesome. The mindset has shifted from negative to positive and, more and more we’re seeing that positivity reinforced by numbers and data. The NAA recently reported that 137 million, or 53 percent of adults in the U.S. read a printed newspaper each week.
Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bruce Faulmann in May, told Metro Users Group Conference attendees that newspaper readership still exceeds nightly news viewership of all three major television networks. Now, there are some statistics you can throw out the next time you’re sitting next to Mr. Print Naysayer on the airplane.
Rising attendance at industry conferences is another positive sign for newspapers. More than 375 people turned out for INMA’s World Congress this year, and MUG attendance grew 6 percent from last year, according to President Alvin Nesmith (see our complete wrap-ups of MUG and INMA on pages 8 and 22, respectively).
Collaboration via industry events will continue to play a crucial role in our industry’s innovation and survival. To that end, News & Tech is working to bring industry execs together to talk about technologies and innovations that are generating revenue for their newspapers through our series of webinars leading up to Graph Expo in partnership with the Graphic Arts Show Co. Our next event, “High performance prepress and workflow,” takes place Aug. 5, and we hope you’ll join us.