TAKEAWAY: It’s local, local, local that editors and publishers need to put their emphasis on, and now a report emphasizes it, too. PLUS: Those older readers in the 60+ group are flocking to digital, too
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Illustration by Massimo Gentile/Il Secolo XIX
Make it local and you can’t go wrong
When it comes to local news, it is still those newspapers that have the advantage. Publishers reading this new report from The Media Audit should take notice.
According to the report, newspaper sites made up 16 of the top 25 slots in The Media Audit’s ranking of top local online media properties, but television sites are gaining strength taking three of the top five spots — including the top two sites overall. Not too bad for television either, and it proves the point that users switch between platforms at different times of the day, and for different types of information.
What is also interesting about this report, in my view, is that when you look at the newspapers with the strongest websites, you’ll notice these newspapers also have strong print penetration — 60% to 70% — in their markets.
We already know that local news is where it is at, and that users of mobile telephones seek local news in their phones.
This report makes a strong case for the value and the power of local news coverage across platforms.
Older readers and digital
It has taken some time, but it is now evident: older readers, the 60+ set, are cozying up to digital platrforms. In my opinion, the iPad had a lot to do with it.
The four-button, easy to use gadget, has become the entrance into the world of digital platforms for a great number of “seniors” in our audience who never got near a computer.
In fact, they think the iPad is a computer, and, there is nothing wrong with that.
Now, a report tells us that older readers are flocking to digital. I am not at all surprised.
As a member of the 60+ generation, albeit not a typical media consumer, I know that one advantage of the tablet, for example, is that one can magnify the type. That , alone, is a good reason for many older readers to line up outside their Apple store and get an iPad.
Here is an interesting piece on the subject, reminding us of that older, but very interested and news hungry audience:
- USA: Older Readers Flock to Digital
“While many publishers are trying to cater their online presence to a younger demographic, The Times Record (timesrecord.com), in Brunswick, Maine, saw its number of digital subscribers increase with readers over the age of 50 when it implemented a paywall on its website. “
Publishers, don’t forget that those 60+ audience out there is made up of folks who have the time, the money and the never ending appetite for news and good stories.
- USA: Worth a Thousand Words: Inside the ‘NYT’ Graphics Department – Short film tracks rise of every kind of visual
Words are not enough—but in some ways, they’re more important than ever. That’s my main takeaway from this Gestalten TV profile of the graphics department at The New York Times. Filmed in 2010, the clip has garnered renewed attention through a Vimeo posting, and it’s worth revisiting for insights on storytelling in an age where screens are everywhere and visually rich platforms like Pinterest have captured the public’s fancy. Naturally, adding clarity to text is a primary focus for NYT graphics chief Steve Duenes and editor Archie Tse.
- USA: How the Detroit Free Press used Facebook to involve readers in a controversial publishing decision
- Newsosaur: Four Ways Newspapers Are Failing at Digital
Nearly two decades after the commercial debut of the Internet, most publishers still are applying the anachronistic newspaper model to their digital business. This is nuts.
The week ahead: where is Mario
It is an interesting week ahead for me, moving across two continents, but engaging in some good programs.
April 17, London—-Monocle Radio: will appear in the morning show, The Globalist, where the hosts review the day’s newspapers. Always look forward to my Monocle encounters, and, although friend Tyler Brulé will not be able to join me (we missed each other by one day, and I could not change my own agenda, but, next time, Tyler!). Will also participate in an interview for the weekly Culture show.
April 18, London———judging the D&AD design contest.
I will be part of one of the 25 juries to select the best of design to go into the 50th D&AD Annual.
April 20-23, Buenos Aires—catching up with Garcia Media Latinamerica team; plus enjoying one of my top five favorite cities in the world.
April 25, Santiago de Chile—speaking to the WAN-IFRA America Latina 2012 Congress; my topic: Designing for the 21st century, across platforms.
April 27, Rochester, NY—speaking at Digital Reading Symposium at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). I am honored to be in this gathering which explores the art and science of reading on screens .