By Allan M. Mediante
Editor In Chief & Vice President of Philippine Press Institute
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – More journalism activities and events has catapulted this paper into prominence as Mindanao’s premier media platform, functioning not only as a daily news carrier but also an educational partner in the upgrading of skills among the non-mainstream journalist organizations and academes.
With the advent digital technology and social media, it was forecasted that the printed newspaper will soon be a thing of the past. This is because the soothsayers believe that people will have no more time to sit down and read for hours, and conveniently reads the news with just a finger touch on a CP mouse, or in his palm-held gadget.
Printed News’ fear of extinction
According to Jack Meyers of Huffpost, “Extinction is a powerful word and one rarely – if ever – heard in media circles. The gospel of media has always been that no new medium has ever replaced an existing one. Radio adapted to the introduction of television just as print adapted to the development of radio. Broadcast networks adjusted when cable came along. The Internet, media
traditionalists have continued to assert, might cause upheaval and change for established media, but it certainly could not result in the extinction of those media.
All print media are struggling with the same reality. While some magazine publishers are moving quickly to identify and invest in alternative revenue models
The magazine industry for the most part remains dangerously dependent on traditional print advertising revenues that are eroding ….. And newspaper ad revenues in some markets are all but disappearing as the auto, real estate, retail, entertainment and other core categories stagger toward a depression-like economic reality.”
This might be true to most of the western world reading communities, but MDN and other experts believe that 3rd world countries will still value reading the newspaper as most families are poor and cannot afford to own digital gadgets. This is also true Hispanic and African-American readers, according to Meyers. In 2001, according to Myers Report, newspaper advertising revenues were $49.2 billion. In 2010, they are projected to be only $28.5 billion, a 42% decline. Consumer magazines are projected to decline in ad revenues from more than $14 billion in 2005 to $10.3 billion in 2010.
Publishers need to be far more aggressive in confronting the truth of their situation . It is fortunate that MDN has established its own brand media service which others can follow “ to offset losses by leveraging their brands beyond the print page”. Even with the economic reality that digital, mobile and other “new” media options simply do not have the short or long term revenue growth potential, and that traditional media companies need strategies to face the looming declines, MDN believes that survival will still depend on sincere and enigmatic public relations.
Mindanao Daily addressed this by publishing its On-line Edition, having its own pages in the social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
“We present more advocacies on business and livelihood promotions, establish strong relationships with mass-based readers such as students and entrepreneurs through our CSR projects, “Mindanao Business Leaders & Entrepreneur Awards, and the Journalism Excellence Awards for Non-Mainstream Journalists, ” president and CEO Dante Sudaria said.
Srini Nachiappan of Singapore commented that the print Media today is in a very mature state with optimized processes and the best of technology enabling automated production with top quality and highest speeds. Thus, you cannot have the same business model from the last century still working. The audience is changing and you need to keep up with their interests. Time spans are decreasing and people are looking for information that can help them make decisions economically and politically.
This is why, departing from traditional journalism, we do not always give glory to crimes and perversions in our front pages. We banner developmental news, business successes and concerns, value-forming coverage for social and civic organizations. This is our way of establishing rapport with the economic stakeholders.
Analysts say, however, that publications that survive and do quite well in a depressed economic environment successfully sustain their business with their traditional business models.
For print media industry as a whole, there is a pressing need to adjust to a new reality. There are solutions. There are opportunities. But if management fails to quickly and dramatically heed the clear warning signs of both economic and systemic, secular dangers to their core business, the reality of extinction will face them sooner than they imagine.
For Mindanao Daily, we will continue to innovate, to lead in “Advocating for a Stronger Mindanao, and a Stronger Philippines.”
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