News experts: Why printed newspapers matter
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Editor's note: This article is part of a special series celebrating National Newspaper Week Oct. 6-12. The Week was designated in 1940 as a way to recognize the importance of newspapers to their communities.
News industry executives from around the country were asked by News & Tech magazine in Denver to reflect on the value of newspapers.
"Wherever there is a pervasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable to a significant portion of its residents."
Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, parent of BH Media Group
"The obituaries for newspapers are premature. Many papers are belatedly, but successfully, adapting to the new news environment. And it's my feeling that as long as they keep adapting, there will be a market for newspapers. There is something in our collective DNA that makes us want to sip our coffee, turn a page, look up from a story, say, 'Can you believe this?' and pass the paper to the person across the table."
Arianna Huffington, chairwoman, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group
"It is often said 'content is king' and 'print or be printed.' I would go a step further and say that we need to 'deliver value, no matter what the shape.' Whether it is providing editorial and advertising content or delivering a package we own our market and should strive to find innovative solutions to give consumers what they want and when they want it."
Kelly Cline, production general manager, Dispatch Printing Co.
Print's greatest strength is "very, very loyal customers who prefer the printed product, even at a much higher price, to the same news and information distributed digitally (is print's greatest strength)."
Jim Moroney, publisher of The Dallas Morning News and executive vice president, A.H. Belo Corp.
"We continue to have a strong demographic who depend on print to not only deliver the local news but also ROP ads and preprints. We must focus on those strengths and talk about them often in our communities."
Austin Ryan, senior vice president of operations, Gannett Publishing Services
"Print is an easily browsable, tactile medium that can tell you about a product or service you didn't know you wanted until you saw it while flipping some pages. You can do this digitally through ad push mechanisms, but those messages have to compete with the ocean of other messages being thrown at you on an 8-inch portable screen."
Jeff Brown, CEO of The Republic, Columbus, Ind.
"Simplicity. There's still elegance in opening that newspaper and turning the page. You can say that's sentimental or nostalgic, but it's true that turning a page still has a lot of value to a lot of people."
Louis Amestoy, digital content director, The Bakersfield Californian
For additional coverage, check www.newsandtech.com.
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