The Northumberland Gazette re-launched as a compact edition and overhauled its web site this week.
Admiral PR’s chairman Stephen Waddington who lives in Northumberland and is a long time Gazette subscriber, marked the occasion with an article for the paper about the relationship between newspapers and social media.
Here’s an excerpt of the article.
The Northumberland Gazette’s switch this week from broadsheet to compact follows three years of audience research. Readers called for the change to the more convenient format and it listened.
The letters page used to be the only means of communication from readers to journalists. Now as readers can comment on stories online, and engage with journalists directly via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Newspapers themselves have added new forms of content to their web sites such as audio and video and have become social. Look closely at the bottom of stories posted on The Northumberland Gazette web site and you’ll notice buttons that will allow you to share the content.
Arguably the Gazette is the original and leading form of social media in Northumberland. Its content was shared, discussed and debated long before the arrival of online social networks. Unlike Facebook or Twitter it provides us with news that has been verified and a clear point of view. We trust and rely on its content.
The death of newsprint has been called incorrectly on numerous occasions over the last decade. But while there’s no doubt that the audience for national newspapers is in decline as it turns to other sources, the story of regional newspapers is different.
Some publications have closed and others have shifted from daily to weekly formats. But those papers such as The Northumberland Gazette, that have been brave and listened to their community and have innovated, are enjoying success.
A strong media is important to the functioning of a healthy community in spearheading campaigns and holding its leaders to account. Thanks to innovation at the Gazette the outlook for our regional newspaper is healthy.