You might have seen that the Ne York Times reported a bump in the number of print subscriptions in the days after a contentious presidential election. While many believe as the president-elect does, that the media is biased and can’t be trusted, others continue to believe a robust, independent, professional press is a hallmark of any democracy and a necessary check on the power of government.
In fact, The New York Times reports 132,000 more paid subscriptions to all its products — print and online — since the election. It remains to be seen how many of those new subscribers, many of whom undoubtedly took teaser deals to get started, remain after the churn, but this is really, really good news.
It reminds me that this is the giving season. Perhaps there is a campaign for holiday subscriptions in here somewhere for an ambitious circulation pro. “Real news” is important at the national level, and that is just as true in your community. I was completely taken with Josh Stearns’ post recently about finding worthwhile local news sources to support. You may want to support some of these yourself by making holiday gifts out of them.
In the meantime, what can we do to deliver on the promise of real news for our patrons? …
- Build relationships with a wide variety of newsmakers, elected and otherwise.
- Attend relevant public meetings.
- Look at the budgets. Follow the money.
- Include diverse voices in your coverage.
- Be fair. Tell the truth.
You know, the things we have been doing forever.
False rumors and outright lies spread like wildfire in our own communities. Don’t be shy about your role in tamping down those flames. You might even have a marketing strategy here.