John Howell’s column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Readership strong, staff working to bring trustworthy local news

Local newspapers remain the dominant source of news in small towns and rural areas, according to the results of a new survey performed by the Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Center for Advanced Social Research and the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism on behalf of the National Newspaper Association.

If you’ve heard something like that before, it’s because the study has been performed every year since 2005, going back to the time when metropolitan newspapers were seeing their readership plunge because their readers could get their news from other sources.

And what they have found each year is that while readership of metropolitan newspapers has declined, readership of community newspapers has remained strong. People depend on newspapers like The Panolian for their local news. With that in mind, the mantra for our business model at this newspaper is “Local, local, local.”

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According to the study, 83.2 percent of respondents read their local newspaper primarily for the local news content, but 62.9 percent also agreed that it “provides valuable local shopping and advertising information.”

The pages of this newspaper are a good place to promote your business or service because people are looking here, seeking information. The paid advertisement for your business supports the local news coverage that informs our readers. It’s a two-way street going in good directions both ways!

There’s also another advantage: In reporting the news, our reporters make every effort to make sure that the information we present our readers is accurate and reliable.

That also infers accuracy and reliability in our advertisements. Your business message on these pages becomes part of a trusted package that our readers receive twice weekly in print and continuously online.

That’s how we plan for 2012, bringing our readers as much news about Batesville and Panola County as we can gather, packaged twice a week in print and as available as your nearest computer and digital viewing device.
Best to you.