Is your newspaper worth a dollar?


By Ashley Bunton - Staff Columnist



Much to the chagrin of hard-working reporters, someone recently informed me that there are people who no longer believe the newspaper is worth a dollar.

The press is yours – a digital and print forum where you have the power to leverage the First Amendment. The First Amendment guarantees your rights to freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition.

Yet in 2016 just 9 percent of people said they get their news from newspapers. Sixty percent of people in a 2016 poll said they obtain their news from television and the internet.

What this tells us is that people pay for how they get their news in different ways, and that the news they receive is filtered and delivered in different ways too.

More folks began to pay for television when it moved from analog to digital and some pay for satellite television. Most people also pay for internet, too. The cost of cable and internet subscriptions rose in 2016, and is expected to rise again this year.

Although more than half of people get their news from television and internet, the television and internet subscribers are the most dissatisfied group of consumers.

A 2015 survey by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index found that people’s satisfaction with their television and internet services are at their lowest in seven years.

Yet despite rising costs and dissatisfaction in television and internet subscription services, Americans spend billions of their dollars on subscription television and internet services each year.

A data analysis determined it costs subscribers 26 cents per hour to watch television, with the average cost being $80 to $140 for a monthly subscription bundle for television and internet.

The cost of a daily Record-Herald newspaper subscription for 12 weeks is $23. The daily cost is $1 for the newspaper.

Not only are people who utilize television and internet for their news more dissatisfied, but are also paying more than they would for multiple newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

The newspaper may not be free – it may cost one dollar a day, but what its worth represents to you is priceless in that it offers the five freedoms of the First Amendment.

Herein where your freedoms are presently is the opportunity to develop the news you want to see, as newspaper editors and reporters work closely with communities on a daily basis.

And at the end of the day, you can pick up a newspaper and be sure that you won’t have to sit through hours of commercials to get pieces of the news.

What needs to be remembered about the media is that it is the place for people to have dialogue about the issues that are affecting and impacting their communities. The media, as it should be, provides the space where the people’s voice can be heard. It is a space for the communication among the people and their local, state and federal governments.

As Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black said, the Constitution was written to give the free press the protection it must have to bare the secrets of government and inform the people.

I’m sure there are more reasons that a newspaper is worth a dollar. We would love to hear from you and the reasons you read the newspaper. What do you want to see more of in your newspaper? Send us news tips, story ideas, thoughts and letters to wchinfo@civitasmedia.com.

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By Ashley Bunton

Staff Columnist

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton