It is fair to say that the world has changed. Gone are the days when people primarily moved around to fulfill their needs – now they expect to be able to communicate and conduct business with the click of a button. In other words, customer expectations have risen. This has forced business owners to reevaluate how they market their products and services.
As the world becomes more digital, businesses need to determine how they will engage with customers online. While there are numerous options, some industries have proven that ‘traditional’ methods of marketing still work like a charm. One such example is the newspaper industry. With a few tweaks, many newspapers have been able to transition from a print-based publication to a digital-first one.
The Changing Landscape Of Newspapers
The early days of the digital revolution saw newspapers struggling to find their place in the new world order. However, a few brave business owners decided to put their money where their mouth is and paved the way for the modern-day newspaper.
One of the first to do so was The New York Times. In March 2010, the paper announced that it was no longer going to be published in print. Instead, it would become entirely digital – from the headlines and stories to the photographs and even the typeface itself.
This move proved to be a groundbreaking one, as it meant that the Times could experiment with different types of stories and features. Additionally, it gave birth to a whole new generation of journalists who were experienced in digital storytelling.
Since then, newspapers have continued to evolve, adjusting their approach as times and technologies change. In 2019, the New York Times partnered with IBM on a project aimed at transforming how the newspaper company approaches reader engagement. Dubbed the ‘NYT Newsroom’, the project saw the creation of a “data studio specializing in smart content creation and automated marketing’ that provides data-driven content for the paper.
Similarly, the Chicago Tribune has gone back to its roots as a voice of the common man, focusing on investigative journalism and in-depth reporting. Launched in 1847 as the Chicago Daily Tribune, the newspaper has always been a champion of the underdogs and is known for its socially conscious and aggressive journalism.
Other newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe, have continued to develop their online presence, experimenting with different formats and strategies to find their voice and attract new audiences.
In light of this evolving landscape, it is worth reconsidering what makes a newspaper a newspaper. Many media companies put a heavy emphasis on the physical product itself, but the answer lies in the content that is available online. After all, nobody wants to buy a newspaper just to read the news. They want to be able to read the news along with getting the full scope of an entire newspaper’s worth of content.
Why Are Online Editors Important?
It is not only newspapers that have adapted to evolving customer expectations. The industry also saw the rise of many digital-first publications, such as Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post. With fewer people wanting to be limited to one medium when it comes to news consumption, online editors have risen to prominence, helping to provide a hybrid form of content that can be accessed anywhere, at any time.
To put this into context, let’s take a quick trip back in time. Think about how you found out about this year’s Academy Awards. Chances are, you either heard about it on social media or saw glimpses of the events on the red carpet. Yet, for some reason, you decided to go to a movie theater to watch the show.
Now consider what would happen if one of the biggest events of the year was held this year and the major social media platforms were shut down for the day. What would happen if Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were to go dark?
The point is that, right now, the news industry is undergoing a massive transformation and traditional marketing methods are being thrown out along with the old typeface. This presents a huge opportunity for those willing to embrace change. While the landscape is evolving and new challenges arise, it is also ever-changing, presenting new opportunities for those who want to continue thriving.