Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Newspapers Still Fill Vital Role

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Newspapers Still Fill Vital Role

Article excerpt

About once a month, I'm invited to talk with some local organization, with an Oct. 24 media panel at Innovation Pointe on Main Street and a Nov. 3 coffee with the Bethlehem United Church of Christ Men's Club being my next two nonpaying gigs. Public speaking is not the most comfortable thing for me; there's a reason I became a writer and not a broadcaster. But, with today being the start of National Newspaper Week, I'd like to share some of the points I attempt to make

While paid circulation at the newspaper is down (though holding in recent years), our readership is up. We're devoting more of our resources to delivering stories and updates via smartphones, tablets and computers. Our resources have declined, yet we remain the largest news-gathering force in our community.

In what we hope is now an improving economy, it's been a battle to retain our advantage in local advertising. But when you want to plot your yard-sale route, when you want to compare drugstore prices, when you want to see what department stores have to offer, we're the go-to guys. And the recent addition of another weekly ad from a local grocer puts more money-saving information in our readers' hands.

We're not going anywhere. You've read about newspapers dropping circulation days, often to just three times a week. There are no plans for that to happen here.

I've only sat in the editor's chair for six months, directing coverage for a newspaper that has been named Indiana's best daily three times in the past decade, including in 2011.

My first column as editor, published on April 1, included this promise: To deliver timely, accurate news reports in whatever form you prefer; to be your eyes and ears in public meetings and behind the scenes; to, through our advertising department, help you find the best deals on clothes, cars, houses, groceries and more; and to tell great stories and celebrate our residents' accomplishments.

We're not batting 1.000. But we haven't struck out, either.

We stood up for your right to know by forcing access to affidavits that led to a SWAT team show of force at an incorrect home. …

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