Local Print Media

Pure Rockford—the power of local print media

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

editorial by BETH ALTENA It is with interest those of us in the news industry follow global, national and now—right here in our own back yard—changes in print media as newspapers adjust to a more digital information age. Papers have struggled to find a formula that works, blending digital and print format news and advertising. Local businesses struggle to find a way to compete in a global economy. Why shop locally when products from China and other places on the planet are cheaper and can be obtained while sitting at a laptop or through an iPad? Our closest daily paper, the Grand Rapids Press, announced recently the end of everyday home delivery for their print product with the intent to protect their digital presence and e-edition. Their accounting will be moved to Delaware. Readers of The Rockford Squire, the City of Rockford’s oldest business, may have noticed we continue to emphasize local news, local sports and local advertising. We haven’t expanded to a conglomerate of newspapers covering a variety of communities. Many other newspapers are owned by a parent company that makes use of their resources to produce multiple community papers. The Grand Rapids Press, a Booth company-owned paper, is one of several in Michigan, including the group of Advance newspapers, and is a good example of that formula. At the Squire, we have just one office, here in town in a building we own. Our staff works out of the office, and we couldn’t offer as much local news without the strong support of our community. The sports articles you read are mostly written by unpaid volunteers who, like us, believe the efforts of our boys and girls who are student athletes should be celebrated in print for the enjoyment of the community. Much of our content is produced right here in town, either by freelance writers who live here, by parents who take the time to write up stories, or sometimes by members of our business community. Some of our news is of national or global interest, if we feel it will be of interest or affect our readers, but not much. When talking to people while reporting about Rockford, I often hear our town is a Norman Rockwell-like example of pure Americana. […]