Newspapers sticking around a while longer
The Kentucky Standard
Imagine a world with no newspapers.
And while you are at it, you might as well picture a world with less news.
This week, Oct. 4-10, is the 75th anniversary of National Newspaper Week. This year’s theme is “Power of the Press.”
It has been a long time since “the press” comprised only newspapers.
The first newspaper in America published on Sept. 25, 1690, according to an article by David Shedden writing for the journalism foundation the Poynter Institute. “Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick” was the first true, multi-page colonial newspaper, he writes.
It only survived its first printing. The British governor who oversaw Boston ordered it suppressed shortly after it hit the streets. It took another 14 years before another regularly published colonial newspaper was founded.
Perhaps the first real threat to the virtual monopoly that newspapers held on informing the public about events of the day was the rise of television news. While the first television news program broadcast in 1930, it wasn’t until the 1940s that regularly scheduled network television newscasts began entering American homes. As more families purchased the new technology, doomsayers started predicting the end of newspapers and questioning their relevance.
Needless to say, newspapers survived, even thrived. There was more news than the networks could cover in the short time allotted. Those who wanted a deeper understanding turned to their newspapers.
It was half a century before newspapers faced their next challenge as the Internet exploded in popularity. Newspapers were optimistic — many experts say overly so, in hindsight — and rushed to give their product away for free online. That trend has shifted, as more and more newspapers erect “pay walls” that require a reader to pay for or subscribe to read their content.
There’s a reason for that shift, and it’s not necessarily greed. It’s because reporting is expensive, and newspapers still do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to uncovering the facts that undergird news, from the grand scale of international affairs all the way to the local zoning and library boards.
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism conducted a study of the “news ecosystem” in Baltimore in 2010 that looked at six key storylines and where the news originated over a one-week period. Of the stories that contained new information, 95 percent came from traditional media, mostly from newspapers. The study concluded that new media such as Twitter, blogs and other social media “played only a limited role: mainly an alert system and a way to disseminate stories from other places.”
Despite newspapers serving as the main source for news in just about every community, recent trends paint a stark picture. According to Pew’s “2015 State of the Media” report, total weekday newspaper circulation fell to 44.1 million in 2014 and Sunday circulation dropped to 47.9 million. Those numbers compare to 62.3 million and 62.6 million, respectively, in 1990.
Yet, newspapers remain the dominant source for news. Cable news gets a lot of attention, but pales in comparison. The median total-day viewership for CNN, Fox news Channel and MSNBC fell in 2014 to less than 1.8 million, according to the State of the Media report. The median network evening news audience in 2014 was 23.7 million.
The New York Times alone accounted for a total average circulation of 2.5 million newspapers last year, and in January 2015 nearly 54 million unique visitors read its content online.
Newspapers continue to report more news, reach more consumers and impact our society more than any other medium. Our industry, especially on the economic front, faces challenges.
But we’ve been around since 1690 in this country, and we’re not leaving anytime soon.
Darts and Laurels
A laurel to the Kentucky Apple Festival board members for all your hard work that goes into our festival each year.
A dart to Mother Nature for not shining on this year’s Kentucky Apple Festival, it’s parade members and vendors.
A laurel to Lauren McCoart, a 12th grader at Johnson Central High School, for being crowned the 2015 Miss Apple Blossom.
A laurel to Citizens National Corporation (Citizens National Bank) for your recent acquisition of Alliance Banking Co. out of Winchester. We are proud of our local bank and love to watch you grow!
A laurel to the Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce for their recent recognition of community members and business leaders during their annual awards banquet.
Apple Festival kicks off the fall season
The scent of apple butter, kettle corn, and fall is in the air in Johnson County which can only mean one thing, the 53rd Annual Apple Festival has arrived. Weeks of hard work and planning have gone in to making this year’s festival “Fun by the Bushel” for all.
This is always an exciting time for those who live in the area. As a community we come together and celebrate one of the things that put our little town on the map. Who would have guessed that 53 years ago when local farmers brought their apples to display at Second National Bank (now Citizens National Bank) such a wonderful festival would blossom?
Over the years the festival has become a homecoming for relatives and friends from far away to return to the county and city they call home. This year is no different and many visitors will grace the streets of our downtown area seeing everything we have to offer. It is our opportunity to show, not only that we can put on a fun festival, but that this is a nice place to visit anytime of the year.
The apple festival is the perfect time to catch up with old friends as well as make some new as you explore the arts and crafts, see how many rides you can ride, and eat some awesome foods prepared by locals. Young and old alike can find something to enjoy at the hometown festival.
By now the festival has been going on for a few days. Apple queens, kings, princesses, princes have been crowned, races have been competed in and the Little Apple Bowl has been completed but there is still plenty to enjoy this year.
While enjoying the apple festival it is also important to note that money spent at many of the booths go to help organizations in the area raise funds that will aid them in projects for the year to come.
No matter how you like your apples the Kentucky Apple Festival has something for you. So come on down to downtown Paintsville and see what all the excitement is about!
Happy Apple Festival!
Darts and Laurels
A laurel to Johnson County Fiscal Court and Paintsville City Council for choosing not to increase property taxes in the current economic conditions that our citizens are currently experiencing.
A dart to tempers flaring during a recent Paintsville Tourism Commission meeting.
A laurel to the Eastern Kentucky Marine Corps League, Detachment 617 who offered a token of goodwill to fellow veterans who endured the devastating July flooding in the Flat Gap area.
A laurel to Appalachian Regional Commission and Kentucky Oral Health Program for the “Smiling School” initiative that will coming soon to local primary schools.
A laurel to the Williamsport Volunteer Fire Department and the help of the USDA for finally getting their new fire pump truck that was 10 years in the making.
Electronic voter registration: Bringing Kentucky Elections into the 21st Century
By Alison Lundergan Grimes
Secretary of State
Last week I made the historic announcement that all eligible Kentuckians will soon be able to register to vote online. I am proud to lead the charge to bring voter registration in Kentucky into the 21st Century.
As Secretary of State, breaking down barriers to the ballot box has been a priority. Since 2012 we have made great strides in improving access for military and overseas voters, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and Kentuckians with disabilities. And we have taken important steps to protect the integrity of our elections, ensuring they remain free and fair.
Electronic voter registration is our most transformational reform to date. It is a pro-voter initiative that transcends party lines. It is endorsed by all living former Kentucky secretaries of state and numerous non-partisan organizations. And it is already being used in more than 20 other states—red states, blue states, big states, and small states.
Electronic voter registration paves the way to increased participation in our elections, which is vital to a successful democracy. It levels the playing field, improving for everyone access to and confidence in our voter rolls. And it provides a convenient, secure, efficient way for people to register to vote and update their information.
Electronic voter registration also saves county clerks resources because it does not require data entry, thus reducing both staff time and potential errors in our registration records. And it will save Kentucky money. For example, electronic voter registration saved 96 percent in Arizona and $500,000 in California compared with paper registration.
And Kentucky is ready. In the past year, more than 700 voters have used the online portal already in place for military and overseas voters, and it has been praised nationally by voters and election officials for how easy and convenient it is to use. If electronic registration can work for our military members in Iraq, it can work for our voters in Inez.
Electronic voter registration represents a new era in our elections. It’s an era in which we embrace technology to empower voters. It’s an era I’m excited to welcome.