In 1833, Benjamin H. Day founded the New York Sun, a newspaper with the slogan “It Shines for All”. You probably remember The Sun as the publisher of the most reprinted editorial in history, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”
Day’s Sun revolutionized “the press,” selling single copies for a penny when other newspapers of the day cost around 6 cents per issue, and focusing the newspaper’s content on criminal and human interest stories. The Sun also had no affiliation with any of the major political parties of the day, the Democrats or the Whigs, which is unusual for the 19th century.
In 1833, New York’s largest newspaper was the Courier and Enquirer, which sold 4,500 copies a day, according to “A History of Newspapers” published by Washington State University. In 1835, the Sun was selling 15,000 copies a day.
The Sun built Day’s fortune by charging advertisers a rate based on the newspaper’s circulation, a practice used by most modern American newspapers to this day. Apple’s iPhone release in 2007, however, would eventually explode a revenue hole in the 174-year-old Benjamin Day business model.
The following year, with the iPhone and Android-based smartphones, consumers were able to find their news when and where they wanted – from a local newspaper or TV website, and, possibly, social media applications like Facebook and Twitter. Anxious to participate in this evolution of publishing, most newspapers offer their content online for free.
This decision only contributed to a dizzying drop in advertising revenues for American newspapers between 2008 and 2018, from $ 37.8 billion in 2008 to $ 14.3 billion in 2018, a drop of 62%. according to a 2020 Pew Research Center study. The inevitable result: More than one in five American newspapers went out of business between 2004 and 2019, a study from the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina found.
“Americans are unaware of the financial challenges facing local newsrooms, according to a survey in late 2018,” the Pew study said. “A majority of American adults (71%) think their local news media are doing well financially, although only 14% say they have paid for local news themselves in the past year, either in subscribing, making a donation or becoming a member.
The Kokomo perspective is no different. And we’ve started working on an exciting new business model that will change the look and feel of paper.
But in the meantime, we have to alternate between an online-only publication and a print and online publication. This week’s issue is available online only, and the November 3 issue will be in print and online. This rotating release cycle will continue until we are ready to launch the new Kokomo Perspective.
The media has changed, and it’s time we moved with them so that we can continue to serve Kokomo and Howard County.
The Kokomo Perspective remains dedicated to bringing you the news you need to be an informed resident and enjoy what this region has to offer. Thank you, readers, advertisers and supporters, for your patience during this transition period. We promise exciting things are on the horizon.
Jeff Kovaleski is editor-in-chief of Kokomo Perspective. Contact him at email@example.com.