Why aren’t young people reading newspapers? For as long as I can remember (my colleagues will laugh here, because I’m the baby of the group), that has been the big question facing the newspaper industry.
Newspaper executives have found a multitude of answers since then, discovering that young people have turned to other mediums to get their news and information: Internet news sites, magazines, blogs and podcasts.
Now the question looming over the industry has become this: how can newspapers adapt in order to appeal to young readers?
Most newspaper companies are turning toward the Internet. They are expanding their web presence to include up-to-the-minute news updates, blogs, podcasts and interactive chat sessions. Other newspapers have turned toward specialty niche publications targeting young people. Many, such as the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle are doing both, with www.democratandchronicle.com and Insider magazine.
But the D&C is looking to do more. This summer the newspaper approached University News about creating a specialty publication designed specifically for college students, produced specifically by college students.
The concept, at the time, involved a two-page “wrap” that would literally wrap the outside of the newspaper and would be distributed, free of charge, once a week on campus. While the publication would start at RIT, it would eventually expand to the other area colleges—in an effort to ultimately build a sense of community between college students in the area.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “I haven’t seen such a thing on campus.” And you’re right. The project is still in the development phase. There are still some major questions about the project. Who will fund it? Who will produce it? How will the students be compensated?
But the two biggest questions looming over the project consist of its content and the demand for the product itself. If there are any students out there in the Tiger Beat blogosphere, I’m seeking your input!
Is there a need for such a publication? Would you read it? What should be in it?
Feel free to comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.