Recent statistics note that newspaper circulation is down roughly 9 percent from this time last year. This, obviously, begs the question: How we we save newspapers? I have three ideas.
1. My hometown newspaper, the York Daily Record, has a great and fun summer activity for children. In conjunction with HersheyPark and our local library system, the newspaper runs half-page ads every Tuesday and Thursday for several weeks in the summer with projects for children. Children complete 10 projects, send them to the newspaper and recieve a ticket to HersheyPark. How does this help newspapers? Even though this night be a bit cheesy and corny, if newspapers followed this model, they could make money and increase readership. The newspaper makes money from the half-page ads, which are placed on a different page every day, so children have to read the entire paper to find their projects. The ads also contain the instructions and entry form are only found in the print edition, meaning you cannot go online for the instructions.
2) Rather than posting everything online, make some stories print-only, forcing people to buy and read the print edition. Remember, there are people who like to have tangible objects.
3) Be like ESPN’s E:60 and do some excellent in-depth, investigative reporting on subjects that people actually want to read. Stop pandering to Sarah Palin and the terror baggers. Stop pandering to the celebrities. Start covering relevant stories. I was part of the anti-Iraq war protests in the early part of the last decade. The media failed by not covering us.
What do you think? Agree or disagree with any of the suggestions?