Our view: Getting the bigger picture

Our view

Newspapers have room for improvement but still are vital to society.

Craig Editorial Board, January 2009 to April 2009

  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Jennifer L. Grubbs, newspaper representative
  • Collin Smith, newspaper representative
  • Marianna Raftopoulos, community representative
  • Luke Schafer, community representative
  • John Smith, community representative
  • Lois Wymore, community representative

It has long been a tradition for many Craig residents to wake up, start a pot of coffee, step outside and pick up the newspaper, and then to read the morning's news before heading to work or taking the kids to school.

Even with the rise of the Internet and 24-hour television news coverage, that's something that has not changed entirely.

While the news has been bleak for much of the newspaper industry, the Craig Daily Press Editorial Board sees a value in the printed news product, and we think residents feel the same.

Whereas a person reading a paper spread out in front of her or him can get a glance at all of the stories on the page, that does not always happen when browsing a Web site.

Online versions of newspapers do not always offer readers the same opportunity to see a wide range of stories, due to the need to click on stories individually to read them. Consequently, a person may only choose to read a few of the stories, and miss something they otherwise would have noticed in a printed version.

However, newspapers cannot blame the Internet and TV news solely for their decline. When a newspaper does not provide the news and content its audience wants, that audience will find it elsewhere. And when the audience shrinks, the advertisers will look for better ways to market their products, creating a vicious circle.

It is up to the newspapers, such as the Craig Daily Press, to reverse this process through improvement and getting back in touch with their audience.

One of the things newspapers can do to draw the audience - and, consequently, the advertisers - back is to take on the important issues that affect the community. This includes more in-depth coverage and more research into the background of these issues.

Stories such as these are where newspapers have a significant advantage over TV news, in that they can devote more words and resources, and readers can peruse them at their own pace, or on their own schedule. This is also a place where the print and online news products can complement each other, providing more opportunities and ways to go in-depth on an issue than ever before.

At the same time, newspapers need to remember to keep opinions or biases out of news stories and build up credibility, which is something that often is hard to find, no matter the platform.

Another thing we as a society need to do is to put more of a value on writing and reading. There is a lot of money in broadcast news, and people who work in that industry usually make much higher salaries, and people too often rely on watching and listening to news, rather than reading it.

Overall, there is always room for improvement, and that is what newspapers must remember as they compete to stay vital to the community they serve.

We think newspapers are up to the challenge.

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