The April issue of Arkansas Money & Politics is now available, and its cover story, featuring Walter Hussman of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is already drawing some reaction from those within the newspaper industry. Read the story here.
Kelly Sublett, publisher of the Log Cabin Democrat, Van Buren County Democrat and The Sun Times (Heber Springs), wrote in a letter to the editor that the fate of print newspapers isn’t as bleak as it’s often made to seem.
Read her entire letter below:
To the editor,I opened the latest issue of AMP and went immediately to the Walter Hussman article. After reading, I have just a few thoughts.As a newspaper publisher of the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway, I was intrigued. But what I read should not be taken as industry standard or the Gospel According to Hussman. He’s a veteran in the business and he’s got an impressive track record. However, I do not think print is dead. I certainly do not think Big J journalism should be reduced to “Lamenting the Long Form.” Hyper local news is still the center of smaller communities. Whether news consumers are reading it in print, accessing it online, or resourcing news from social media, the idea that information is dying might, to a general audience, ring true. But for those of us “keyboarding” and constructing information for distribution across a number of products, we’re in it to win it. Maybe it is the practice of taking the “old guard’s” word for it that has been pruning and shaping the belief we’re all but whispers in this industry. It is insulting. It’s not comprehensive. It’s not what those of us think who still are slugging away in the trenches of local news. What you have is the view of a company who grew outside of its expertise in print and years ago spent millions on expanding the digital when our industry wasn’t ready. We didn’t know what the landscape would shake out to be, but we knew with each generation things would need to be done differently. While I respect Mr. Hussman for many things, I think he’s wrong to shut the door on print, especially when the cover story for an incredibly successful magazine, that has returned to print, features his lament. Print will live on. It may not look and feel the same as it always has, but the trick is to offer the product in print and further it’s mission with online reach. The “Glory Days” may be dwindling for the juggernauts, but those days are on the horizon for young publishers with ideas.Kelly SublettGroup Publisher
Log Cabin Democrat (Conway)Van Buren County Democrat (Clinton)The Sun Times (Heber Springs)
What was your reaction to Hussman’s comments? Can print journalism survive?