Cedar Rapids– Our local newspaper, The Gazette, founded 135 years ago, plays a very important role in lots of lives of those in our community. With an uprising use of technology in the 21st century, less people have been subscribing to the print newspaper. What could this mean for the future of newspapers?
Although there are fewer people subscribed to the newspaper due to a few different reasons like cost, retail, and technology, our local newspaper company does not see technology as a threat. Zach Kucharski, the executive editor for The Gazette, said that “Technology isn’t so much a threat, but it changes the way that the reporter has to adapt. It is just another tool that helps.”
Kucharski adds that “We are certainly aware, we know that habits are changing,” and later compares newspapers with books, saying that, “ It is kind of the same thing as books. People predicted that everybody would sit and read a Kindle. Well if you can read a book, a lot of people will actually pick up a book.”
Intersect Media Solutions said that, “Demographically, adults age 50 and over comprise 60% of print newspaper readers, while adults under 50 comprise nearly 70% of the online audience.”
This statistic helps us to understand the difference between age groups and generations and how their consumption of news is differing.
The Gazette is doing many different things in the field to further engage the youth in our community. On top of visiting schools to talk to students, they are considering a young-adult newspaper, as well as a continuation of their “youth advisory council.” Which is where students talk about local issues and then go back to their schools and report what they learned.
Kucharski addresses the many important pieces of the newspaper saying that it, “Allows people to learn about the communities that they live in, the government, interesting people in the community, and is entertainment like sports and features. There is a lot of information each day. There are puzzles and games, all sorts of different things.”
The newspaper is the first printed version of history and tuning into it can teach all individuals about local matters, politics and important things happening in the area. As well as educate them on the many events and activities going on.
Mitchell’s NY states, “Another major advantage to reading newspapers daily is you’re always up to date on important local news. Whether you live in or near a big city or small town, things are happening regularly that affect your community in various ways.”
People can learn so much about the lives of people and the actions that are being taken, just by reading the newspaper. It is a way to be let in about the things going on around you.
One important thing that was highlighted in the interview, was something produced by The Gazette called IowaIdeas.
“Iowa Ideas is a project that is all sorts of current events and what is the future of the state and how are we going to get there? The idea here is how do we get average citizens with some of the CEO’s across the state talk about whether it’s who is going to have the jobs and what skills do they need. And how to make our rural communities thrive when they are not growing. It is an issues conference.” explains Kucharski.
It is something that high schoolers can help with and can have input from all ages and groups of people that are in our community. IowaIdeas can benefit everybody in Cedar Rapids that likes to know what is going on or wants updates about things like events, jobs, buildings and the overall future of our city.
The newspaper has something for everybody, and everybody can play a role in the newspaper, whether that is with sports, events, editorials, milestones, etc.
Kucharski adds to that point by stating, “I think it is tremendously exciting and you are right on the front line as history is happening and you have an opportunity in some of the spaces of the newspaper to help shape that.”
Our newspaper has so much to offer to every age group and can be beneficial to young kids and adults. The newspaper is available in print and online. You can read and subscribe to be more informed on the city you live in, at http://www.thegazette.com/.