It’s an odd time to be in the media business. Rarely a week goes by without some major newspaper shutting its doors. At Scripps, our heaviest loss of late was the Rocky Mountain News, a Goliath paper that seemed invisible just a few short years ago.
In the end, the Rocky Mountain News was too large to survive this recession. They simple could not adapt to today’s business climate.
Locally, we’ve made cuts too. Reducing expenses is one of the only ways to grow profit margins for many business is this sluggish economy. But we’re not closing the doors, not anytime soon anyway.
Our staff is fortunate to work in this region. Southwest Florida is one of the few print strongholds left in the country. And the demographics suggest newspapers will still be printed to some capacity for years to come.
We’re not resting on that thought, though; or we’ll become just another defunct newspaper.
Our staff is constantly growing our Web site: www.mybannerhub.com. We’re also adding contributed content from the community.
If you have a neighborhood newsletter you’d like to see online, send it to us and we’ll post it. Same for business announcements, school events, fishing photos and anything that has to do with your grand kids. This week we’re adding a blog from Ron Saberton, a south Fort Myers Red Cross volunteer who’s in North Dakota helping flood victims (see page 8 of this edition).
Saberton and the Red Cross are sending us updates for the next two weeks, and we’ll post Saberton’s write-ups daily.
So instead of sending a reporter to cover his trip, we asked Saberton to cover it for us. The Red Cross helped coordinate this content, as did the Naples Daily News.
It’s a collaborative way to give our readers insight into people’s lives — a partnership between The Banner and various parts of the community.
This leads me to think that the Internet is very much in its infancy stage — kind of like when horses were faster than cars.
That car is going to start winning soon. Maybe it already has (our numbers suggest we’re getting about 2,000 daily page views).
So I encourage you to take a look at mybannerhub.com. We’re adding content daily: stories, photos, videos, links to public records and entertainment calendars.
I hope to see you there.
Chad Gillis is the editor of The Banner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org