By Caroline H. Little
There’s an excessive amount of gloom and doom being spread around these days when the talk turns to the future of newspapers. In fact, the mere mention of the future of newspapers suggests that there might not be one. There is no question that the newspaper business has been disrupted. And yet, what the doomsayers fail to see is that newspapers are well on their way to ensuring that a bright future lies ahead.
It has been painful to bring costs in line with revenue and recast the product to reflect the realities of the new media world. But one thing that has not changed is our historic mission of informing and enlightening, agitating and entertaining, protecting and defending the public’s right to know.
Without question, the newspaper of tomorrow will not be the newspaper of yesterday or even the newspaper of today. Change and innovation are pointing us toward a very different future, one that cements our unique role in the communities we serve.
Just a few years ago, we were a print business with digital on the side. Today, we are bringing together print, web and mobile, and opening the possibilities for even greater advancements that now may be only dreams in a young innovator’s mind.
Our digital products are growing fast, and our websites have taken the market lead. Indeed, newspapers are the Internet, or at least a vital and sought-after part of it. Aggregators such as Google News rely on newspaper journalism as their primary source for content. Search engines frequently refer people looking for content back to newspaper websites. Among adults 18-plus, our web audience exceeds those of Yahoo/ABC, MSNBC (now NBCNews.com), The Huffington Post, CNN and CBS...