Reporter for The Post-Star, covering the city of Glens Falls, town and village of Lake George and northern Warren County communities.

Finally, some encouraging signs for newspapers, which have been beset by shrinking advertising revenue, layoffs and relentless criticism from the public and elected officials – all the way up to the president of the United States.

An article by Politico, found that the number of Americans who pay for online news has increased from 4 percent to 18 percent over the last year. The percentage went from 8 percent to 20 percent for the 25-34 age bracket.

News organizations are citing a “Trump bump.” Donald Trump’s election as president last November has spurred interest in current events. The article includes interviews with representatives from The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, news magazines such as The Atlantic and The New Yorker also have seen bumps. The New Yorker has seen a 100 percent increase from the prior year, with the millennial age bracket growing the fastest.

Nic Newman, who wrote Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report, also cites the fact that young adults are now more accustomed to paying for quality content with their use of entertainment streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify. However, 84 percent of Americans surveyed by Reuters still pay nothing for online news.

I found that out when I conducted my own survey of nearly 400 people as part of my thesis for my master’s degree in communications. A total of 93 percent of respondents said they paid nothing to access local news online. About 56 percent said they would pay nothing to access a website, even if it had been customized to provide local news topics of their choosing.

It costs money to provide journalism and I hope more people are willing to pay for quality local news content.


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