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November 26, 2013

Editorial: Newspapers’ greatest day

Thanksgiving editions put vitality on display

TERRE HAUTE — Those who are limited in their news intake or gain most of their information from broadcast or Internet sources may be under the false impression that newspapers are a dying institution. They may believe that readers and advertisers have abandoned the traditional newspaper, be it print or digital, in favor of some other sort of news flow that relies on shallow streams of broadcast fluff or, even worse, social media.

More astute observers of media trends and those who are discerning about the information they consume are quite aware that this newspaper doomsday scenario just ain’t so.

On Thursday, we will once again offer a prime exhibit that testifies to the relevance the community newspaper still enjoys. It will be the annual “Thanksgiving Day Newspaper” which, in most American media markets, is also known as the largest newspaper of the year.

This phenomenon was addressed recently in an essay by Caroline Little, executive director of the Newspaper Association of America.

Little writes: “For consumers, Black Friday marks the official start of the holiday shopping season.

“For retailers, it’s the day of rock-bottom prices, long lines and the busiest weekend of the year.

“And for those of us in the newspaper industry, Black Friday is the reason consumers, advertisers and retailers flock to our Thanksgiving newspaper and newspaper websites to find and publicize the best deals.”

Little goes on to explain that the proof of her assertion is in the numbers. Nielsen Research reports, she writes, that “63 percent of Americans say newspapers are the ultimate holiday shopping guide.”

Fact is, newspapers offer a wide and engaged audience to their advertisers. The huge ad package that accompanies the Thursday paper is a direct result. With such engagement by readers, it should be no surprise that Nielsen found that print ads “drive the highest purchase intent, scoring nearly 10 percent higher than local television, cable television and local music radio,” writes Little.

A loyal Tribune-Star reader once told us they thought they’d need a wheel barrow to cart their massive Thanksgiving Day newspaper back to the house. While we recognize the exaggeration, we appreciate its intent. There is a good reason why so many advertisers want to be part of their community’s newspaper. Indeed, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

We hope you enjoy all the content — from news to advertisements — coming your way in Thursday’s print and digital editions. We promise it will be robust, engaging and alive. We know that’s what you expect, and we intend to deliver.


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