Randy Brown: Reports of our death are greatly exaggerated

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We’ve all heard it, “Newspapers are dead.” Or, “no one reads newspapers anymore.”

Those of us in the newspaper business are rather sensitive to these words and we take them very seriously. In short, we are not “buying in.”  And, in these troublesome times that we have ALL experienced in recent months, our audience (readership) is not buying in either. 

I hear the words above several times a week. And, I am frequently asked about the health of our newspaper industry by family members, friends and those that I come into contact with on a daily basis. Are ya’ll ok? Are you going out of business? My short answer is “no.” My long answer is, well, keep reading. 

True, due to rapidly advancing technological innovations (ie: the smartphone that practically none of us can live without), many forms of digital media, social media, etc., the newspaper industry has changed (especially over the last 10-12 years). This was a forced change. Has this technology driven world reached its peak? Is the technology that we enjoy today the same technology that we will have in the future? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “NO!” 

In reality, technology is just getting ramped up. I truly believe that we will see more technological change in the next 10-12 years than we have seen in the past 10-12 years. Then, after that, the cycle will repeat itself over and over again in exponential fashion. That is the way that technology works. It is hard to keep up with. Surely, technology changes our culture and it changes our daily lives in so many ways in terms of the things that we depend upon, the things that we consider necessities, the things that we can’t live without. And, as I said above, technology has definitely changed the newspaper industry. Let’s face it, this trend is sure to continue. 

However, we don’t need to write the epitaph for the newspaper industry just yet. Newspapers are still relevant. Yes, we still have stories to tell. We still have news and events to bring you as a result of the tremendous growth and activity in our community. And now that our state is beginning to open up again after this recent period of cautiousness due to the coronavirus pandemic, we will have even more community news and events to bring you. 

In short, we are a community newspaper. And to use a term that I learned in my intro marketing class back in my college days, that is our “niche.” Truly, in the newspaper industry, community newspapers are where the growth is taking place. As a result of that fact and due to the vibrant and expanding community in which we live, work and play; we are still here. And, we are still relevant.

As always, we are still here doing what we do for the Bossier Parish community. And, as a community newspaper, we look forward to continuing our long standing tradition of bringing you the news, sports and events that are important to you. For the most part, the stuff that you will not see elsewhere. We are the Bossier Press-Tribune. We are your community newspaper. We are Bossier Parish’s newspaper. We are still relevant. And, we are here to stay!

Randy Brown is publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune.