RISKY BUSINESS: The latest production trends fuel the shift away from print and closer to an all-digital world.

Author:Simpkins, Jerry

A little over a year ago, I wrote an article here outlining the latest trends and advancements in our newspaper industry. At that time, I went into the assignment eyes wide open and full of enthusiasm, being provided the opportunity to write about an industry that has supported me over the years and that I continue to be proud to be a part of. Unfortunately, once I researched our advancements over the last decade or so, I became frustrated at the lack of innovation newspapers experienced and the backslide many publications were in.

Fast forward to 2019 and I was presented once again with the opportunity to document new trends and innovation in our industry. Full of renewed excitement and with a fresh perspective, I embraced the opportunity to review where the industry had gone. I not only went into it enthused, but also determined that I'd turn over every rock and report on all the progress and positive events of the past year.

So confident things would turn out better this year, I took a similar approach to writing this article. I casually approached a few vendors and asked for their thoughts on what innovations print had made over the past year. After coming up short, I spoke with a few associates and again came up empty. It was at that point I thought to myself, "It must be "Groundhog Day.'"

A little over 25 years ago, the movie "Groundhog Day" was released. In the movie, Bill Murray was stuck in a horrific cycle, forced to relive his worst day over and over again. As I considered my angle on this article, I drew a parallel to "Groundhog Day." It seems like day after day, newspapers are living the worst day of their lives over and over again without any sign of snapping out of it. Now I know what Phil Connors, the TV reporter Bill Murray portrayed, went through.

If you only knew how much I wanted to sing the praises of our industry in this article. To detail how to spite what we all are going through and are sick to death of hearing about--declining ad revenues, anemic classified advertising, faltering circulation draws and increases in consumables and labor costs--that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not just the same old, same old, day after day without any advancement or positive change.

Needing to find some good news and swing out of my own personal "Groundhog Day" I figured I needed to regroup and focus on what a newspaper means to readers and advertisers. In this, I found some encouragement.

What Trends Will Continue?

Our newspapers are trusted and well regarded by millions of readers throughout this country and abroad. I found encouragement in a recent AP story about a journalist, Marcos Miranda Cogco who was kidnapped due to his reporting on Noticias A Tiempo, a news page on...

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