Where do newspapers stand today? Well, they’re in decline, with only a minority of people reading and trusting them. But if that’s so, asks Frank Denton, editor of The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, “why does our journalism have such impact?”
Denton notes several examples of Times-Union coverage that brought truly responsive change. Like “when we wrote about 'The $5 million cop,' the police and fire pension program got reformed.”
“If indeed,” a Denton query that bears repeating, “only a minority of people read and trust us, why does our journalism have such impact?”
The Jacksonville editor makes several points he thinks explain why concern over the decline of newspapers is overdone, including that the pertinent research tends to be national, while newspapers function locally, on behalf of their communities.
For anyone, like PR people, concerned with connecting with their communities, Frank Denton’s essay from Jacksonville isn’t to be missed.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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