Chronicling change is central to almost every newspaper’s mission, but change is also why they still exist. The first record of a newspaper was in 59 BCE forelites of the Roman empire. Newspapers have been reinventing themselve sever since. Too many today want to characterize “newspapers” as monolithic dinosaurs and write them off.
Modern versions are as diverse as the people that read them. Each has its own lifeblood and heartbeat to the readership communities they serve. If newspapers had notembraced change and innovationin journalism, design, printing, marketing, and delivery — they would have ceased to exist long ago.
The earliest versions focused on events, assemblies, births, deaths, and daily gossip and, eventually, incorporated politics and military conflicts. While all those interests are still the meat of most newspapers, avibrant mosaic far beyond those confines expands daily.
Truly newspapers, magazines, and publications are an art form, butthat art is driven by competition and profits. It’s a business, and every business must command and retain attention to succeed. Especially in today’s “attention economy, ”when competition for eye balls has never been more intense.
From Day One, Technology Has Driven Change
Technological advancements brought about the most sweeping changes in the newspaper and magazine industry. The first versions were hand written and copied until Gutenberg’s technological break through in 1440. Scribes soon after that became type setters and news paper growth exploded. Now a PDFfile from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world goes straight to press,and another edition is born.
If “newspapers” were only defined and envisioned as ink printed on paper created from trees, then the evolution of newspapers, from a technological perspective, would have ended with Gutenberg. We all know that was the beginning of the modern the newspaper story, not the end. Today if someone reads the online version of a newspaper, it is still considered “reading the newspaper.”
Online versions cannot line the bottom of a birdcage or be rolled up to scold your pet, but it’s still a “newspaper.” When delivery changed from kids on bicycles to motor vehicles or mail, nothing changed but the delivery medium.
After the invention of the telegraph, newspapers turned to technology to receive up-to-date news briefs from cities across the globe. To cut the expense of collecting news in this manner, several newspapers created a cooperative arrangement in 1846 called the Associated Press (AP), leading to “wire services” between major cities. Constantly looking to cut expenses while innovating to grow market sharesums up theindustry’s business model.
News-wire technology increased the breadth of subject matter which grew market share while costs were driven down to make newspapers move affordable. Some foreign correspondents were out of a job, but the change was a win for the industry and readers alike.
Futurists are now predicting that AI will soon be writing this blog while replacing every newsroom on the planet. Could that come to passone day? Although hard to imagine, if the sophistication of such technology is continually refined, it will get deployed to at least some degree. Humans performing any task are expensive, and efforts to reduce that expense will always continueas long ashuman functions are part of the profit equation.
There are No Checks and Balances to Social Media
“Citizen journalism” and social media we supposed to give everyone a voice, but that voice has created an echo chamber of division untethered to reality. “I read it on the Internet” as a claim to truth and accuracy is laughable to everyone. Cable news, in most cases, cannot deliver in-depth coverage due to costs. Far worse, each network only feeds one mindset, almost nothing balanced.
Given that reality, newspapers and magazine journalism of every flavor have never been more critically important. As a counter balance, newspapers are the gold standard as a reliable arbitrator of truth, balance, and accuracy.
Accelerated by the pandemic, we live in a world of increasing isolation. We can now work from home, have everything delivered to home with face-to-face interactions, increasingly via a computer screen. We even have doorbell cameras that allow interaction from the other side of a door.
Considered progress, such conveniences tend to degrade a sense of community. Like nothing else, newspapers give communities cohesion and keep them fromonly becoming places on a map. A newspaper arriving on the front porch or pulled up online continues to connect people to their communities like no other medium.
Change, via Technology and the Internet, is Just Reality
When broadcast TV [the predecessor to cable] launched news coverage to include both local, national, and international news, the demise of newspapers was predicted. While radio, TV, cable, and most recently,the Internet has impacted “newspapers, ”they still survive and thrive.
Change at an ever-faster clip driven by technology is certain going forward. As long as eyeballs are money,technology will be deployed to cut costs and gain circulation numbers. It’s a flat world operating 24/7 with English as the universal language.
Change Requires a Partner
Adroitsquare delivers the benefit of that 24/7 flat world to our newspaper clientele. Our world-class design team is time zone agnostic, ready to capture attention while reducing costs. We understand that change via technology and the constant pursuit to attract readers is unrelenting.
At Adroitsquare, we’re bullish on the newspaper industry. As newspapers continue to morph, adapt, andrecreate themselves in the process of revolutionizing what was‘once upon a time’ called a “newspaper,” we at Adroitsquare are focused on partnering to meet those demands for our clientele.