Have you ever had your name published in a newspaper? It might have first happened when you were a kid, getting your name mentioned because your house league baseball team won their big game. Or maybe later, it was in the High School when you were awarded an academic achievement that you made it into the newspaper. Or perhaps, as a business person, your business was centered out for some community contribution. Whatever the reason, didn’t it feel great, just to know that your name was published in print for everyone to see. That is the magic of the community newspaper. Somehow, we always seem to overlook that when we talk about the future of newspapers.
Not long ago, my son’s band, Get Back, got featured in the London Free Press. They are the youngest Beatles tribute band that I have ever heard of (the oldest is 16 and the youngest is 12). I actually posted about it (okay, yes, it was shamelessly proud dad moment) here, http://grantspiller.com/wordpress/2010/06/warning-blatant-proud-father-moment/. My point is, that everyone connected with the band (musicians, teachers, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and so on) suddenly wanted multiple copies of the newspaper as keepsakes. They asked the newspaper for PDFs of the pages for mounting in their musical school and in their homes. Many will include clippings of the article in photo albums and keepsake boxes for years. These people are, as most statistics published recently imply, no longer part of the newspaper’s core audience. They are too young. And yet…magic… newspaper magic.
When was the last time you heard about anyone ask for PDF copies of tweets or Facebook status updates to frame and hang or treasure forever? That is silly. It is a different experience and a different purpose. Social Media is faster, more interactive, and yet, more fleeting. It exists more in the moment than in perpetuity. So clearly, newspapers and social media can co-exist.
I think the above is probably at the core of a posting written by Douglas Idugboe in early July 2010. I came across his article while this posting was in draft mode and I include it because it is a different perspective that arrives at the same point. His article is here:
How Social Media is Saving Old Media (July 6, 2010) (http://smedio.com/2010/07/06/how-social-media-is-saving-old-media).
In his posting he makes a case that shows that Old Media and New Media can co-exist. In fact, he goes on to demonstrate the myriad of ways in which the two are compatible and where they can mutually benefit one another. I enjoyed his posting and I suggest that you read it too before you simply write off newspapers to the bottom of the bird cage of media.
Do you have thoughts on this too? Leave your comment.