To say we’ve come together at a critical time in our industry is cliché at this point. We’ve talked about this for years and it’s only getting more urgent.
Every day we work to a constant drumbeat of pessimism:
•An active and uncertain M & A environment.
•More than 1,800 newspapers that have closed since 2004.
•Facebook, Google and YouTube gobble up two-thirds of the total digital market share, while the rest of us fight over the remaining third.
•Misinformation and political propaganda posing as news.
•70% of American’s who get their news from “social media” – yet nearly 60% who feel it’s inaccurate.
Our new association will champion the values and contributions that newspapers bring to the communities they serve. Espousing the important work that we do every day:
•We represent journalistic integrity with accuracy, fairness, ethics and transparency.
•We are the voice for the voiceless, the defenders of the First Amendment and open records.
•We shine a light on government and expose corruption and injustice.
•We entertain, we delight, we educate, we inform.
•We are the largest producers of experiential opportunities and events in our local markets. We grow businesses.
•We are local digital agencies and magazines and growing video operations and multi-media companies who serve customers daily.
•We are print, digital, mobile and beyond . . .
All of us are passionate believers in the power of newspapers. It is time to leverage our collective resources to advance our interests and drive our industry into the future.
Our new association will be an unapologetic and relentless advocate for newspapers and the newspaper industry. Together, we speak with a powerful voice.
Chris Reen is president of The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo.