I have recently been hearing about how our local newspapers (in the UK) are falling into decline due to a raft of competition from various alternative media sources such as the internet.
I live in Birmingham and I am the type of person who loves to play and watch sports. Where I live we have a famous Saturday nights sports paper which arrives in the shops at around 6pm, it is called The Sports Argus and is pink in colour. This paper has been a must buy for my family for as long as I can remember and it includes all of the days football results and the latest football tables. It also has match reports from all of the local teams as well as a lot of information about other sports including the horse racing and its results. This paper will no longer be available as it appeared in the shops for the last time around three weeks ago.
A few years ago the first place to read about these results and to see the updated football divisions was via this newspaper. This is no longer the case of course. We are now able to view this information almost immediately after each football match has finished on either satellite television, the internet or even on our mobile phones. Less and less people are now purchasing this particular paper which is a shame as I had continued to do so and will miss it!
Other potential reasons for a decline in our local newspapers could include the fact that they are no longer that local, if you know what I mean. As an example some of the papers include lots and lots of national news items and only a few about local stories and events. The reason we are purchasing the paper is to find out about what is going on in our own area, if I want to know about national items I would of course buy one of the national newspapers.
A number of our local newspapers have been taken over by some of the big news corporations who have reduced the amount of pages in each edition and who have also reduced the amount of copies which are printed. What they did not reduce of course was the price, therefore they are expecting us to pay the same price for less pages and less news.
We are now also able to watch the news twenty-four hours a day if we want to and if we of course have access to satellite television. This has had a huge negative impact on the local newspaper sales.
Advertising revenue has greatly reduced in recent years for these local newspapers, this has also been a reason which has resulted in some of them deciding to stop printing.
In my opinion if the local newspapers are going to survive they need to fight back. They should become as is their name, more local. By all means include the main two or three national news stories but ninety percent of the items should be about the local area and its people.
Advertising rates should be made more affordable with perks to encourage people to become long term business partners and advertisers, such as free features of their business from time to time. I would also include some interesting competitions and offers off different products.