News of our ‘death’ greatly exaggerated

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For those of you still reading newspapers (and this means you) it is thanks to you that this week marks the 77th anniversary of National Newspaper Week.

Contrary to what naysayers and prognosticators have been predicting about the inevitable demise of the newspaper industry, it’s still alive and well, having managed to leap hurdles and survive a number of daunting financial, technological gauntlets through the years.

The Daily Inter Lake has been in publication for nearly 130 years. Our publisher, editors, reporters, business and press staff, sales and circulation representatives, graphic designers and deliverers take pride in the communities we serve and the job we do keeping you informed over the past century as the Flathead Valley has changed and grown.

We’re at our best covering the local news, from City Council meetings to sports, breaking news and everything else that’s happening in our region.

My role as community editor has given me the opportunity to meet many of you personally to help promote your events, post your meetings, publish your accomplishments — and, one of the most significant and at times difficult responsibilities I am tasked with — help you place your families’ obituaries. I have been privileged to answer your calls and emails and meet with you in person at our offices here at the Inter Lake for the past 15 years.

The Montana Newspaper Association’s September newsletter underscores the newspaper media’s role in today’s world. David Chavern, president and chief executive officer of the News Media Alliance, points out that contrary to predictions that other than a handful of major dailies and a hodgepodge of small weeklies the newspaper industry would have expired by now, national newspaper circulation is far from floundering, with 35 million Americans subscribing for weekday and 38 million for Sunday delivery; and circulation revenue has been steadily rising over recent years, from $10.4 billion in 2012 to $10.9 billion in 2015 and 2016.

He further asserts that a print newspaper is read an average of 40 minutes daily, giving advertisers a longer platform to reach their audience than many digital outlets.

Furthermore, as recently as last year 56 percent of American subscribers still read print newspapers.

“The bottom line is that the industry we represent is, first and foremost, in the news business,” Chavern said, “and the audience for our journalism is larger than it has ever been in history.”

The newspaper industry’s challenge remains to keep pace with the times and technology.

Whether our readers choose to get their news online or on the printed page, you can bet that your hometown paper will be here for years to come bringing you the latest news.

Thank you for being our faithful readers and for supporting us and the freedom of the press.

Community editor Carol Marino may be reached at 758-4440 or community@dailyinterlake.com.

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