Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh, The Irony...

The Newspaper Association of America has been in the forefront in the battle of showing the continued relevance of having a print product in an industry that continues to move toward online products with warp speed. Earlier this month, NAA published a roundtable discussion

"Try to count the number of times a death knell has sounded for the print newspaper, and you’ll quickly run out of fingers," said the report. "Despite continued rumors of its impending demise, print still accounts for the overwhelming majority of revenue at most newspaper companies. It also plays an important role for readers."

So how ironic is it that not only has NAA laid off 50% of its staff and -- wait for it -- decided to stop print production of its magazine Presstime, according to Editor & Publisher. 39 staffers are gone, with 43 remaining. The last print Presstime will be next month's issue.

Like dozens of print publications across the country, NAA blamed the move on advertising revenue declines, and publisher
that offered 10 experts' views on how to reinvent the print newspaper. Su-Lin Cheng Nichols said the move to an online-only magazine is "very much in line with the changes our members are making to their own businesses." But NAA says it will still lobby on behalf of newspapers on Capitol Hill, along with helping member boost their readership and increase ad revenues.

This is a strong message being sent out by the association that was created to represent the interests of print newspapers. Which is why NABJ's advocacy of traditional and emerging new media are all the more important. As someone who has fully embraced new media, my goal as Region II Director for the NABJ board would be to reach out to innovators in the field of new media and form partnerships that could create jobs and opportunities for its members.

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