Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Some clues to newspaper success

Some studies are more valuable than others. Results from a 50-state tour of newspapers, I think, is very valuable. Husband and wife journalists Paul Steinle and Sara Brown took the tour, and reported their findings at a panel at the recent SPJ conference.

“Print is not dead,” Brown said. “We didn’t talk to anybody who believed that newspapers would be dead in the next 10-15 years.”

They didn't come away with any grand plan to insure success, but noted some qualities that work. Among them: Market size matters. Local news and watchdog reporting are indispensable assets.

Brown said that among the more successful smaller papers, the couple found several key characteristics that included a strong emphasis on local news, an ongoing commitment to watchdog reporting, fostering community dialogue and being a good organizational citizen through public service initiatives.

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