A few weeks back a supplier contacted us to say change was coming. The plant where the Advertiser and Community News get printed each week would be closing.
The news wasn’t a big surprise considering numerous newspaper titles across the country took a hiatus during the pandemic or closed altogether. The onslaught of digital platforms and online sites continue to make the challenge of publishing a newspaper more challenging. Less to print, means less plants are needed. It is what it is.
This is our first week not printing in Hamilton and fingers crossed, the upload of files and delivery of papers will happen without a misstep. But, changes as a result of this move are something we need to deal with while limiting impact on readers and small business going forward.
In the coming weeks we will be taking stock of current commitments, schedules and deadlines while devising a plan to offset page count caps due to press limitations.
One of the reasons we remained solid customers with the old plant was it had capacity to print up to 52 pages in one shot which, pre-COVID, was a fairly regular occurrence for us. Most other printers are able to print no more than 40 pages in one run. Going forward we will look at ways to manage page counts that fluctuate with the seasons. Spring – a traditional time of big papers as residents leave the grips of winter and enter the growing season – is upon us. Every business and household will be looking to get out and get busy, to make up for the downtime January and February often bring.
After two years unable to travel for industry events, we had the good fortune of attending a Miami-based conference in early March. Two days of updates and sessions coincided nicely with the challenge brought about by the changes noted above.
One beacon of hope was a session about Gen Z, which are those people born between 1997 and 2012. It becomes clear that a person has been around a long time when memories of a session on Millennials some years back, seemed like yesterday. The hope, however, was part of a yes or no exercise where the group of six University of Miami students were asked about media, specifically television, radio and newspapers. When mentioned in a local sense, their hometown community newspaper was the only news source readily identified by all six students. When asked to explain that 100% score, the newspaper was part of their family’s rituals. Although the students engaged with the publication via digital means as opposed to print, the newspaper brand was felt to be trustworthy and a reliable source for local news.
While the notion of community has taken on new meaning in recent years, in large part due to social media, people of all ages do recognize the need to be cognizant and knowledgeable about what happens in their immediate environs. A newspaper, or its digital cousin, with local reliable information, is critical to a community’s success.
As we move forward and settle into new realities, please feel free to share ideas or suggestions on how we can make a great paper even better. Perhaps there are news features or extras that would be of interest or even advertising opportunities that business owners would like to see. My personal email at work is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to an ongoing conversation and serving readers our very best.