Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Local Newspaper, the Latest Victim of the Internet

Video killed the radio star!  As the story goes, email and World Wide Web killed the mailman; the YouTube killed the video stars, and internet played a vital role in supplying blogs, which ultimately killed our local paper stars.  I know, this is old news now, but how is it possible that Prince William County, a growing area in Northern Virginia, will not have its own newspaper as of December 31st.  Of course there are other online news sources in our community, many blogs, area magazines which are great-but not the same as the paper.  Where will local legal advertisements be published?  How will local establishments advertise local events in the community?

As a former Community Columnist for the News&Messenger, I can’t say that I’m completely surprised by the news, because the community columns came to a halt as the result of a low amount of real estate ads, which was a victim of the domino effect from the faltering housing market.  However, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to have worked for a phenomenal paper that has served as the fabric that kept our community bound together, for nearly a century and a half.

My heart goes on to the wonderful, talented, staff at InsideNova who worked diligently to serve the Prince William County community with online news, a print edition, and a facebook page that constantly keeps over 20,000 fans updated with news the moment it happens. 

Somewhere, in a dark corner of Prince William County, the foundation is being laid to create the next news source for the county…with a print-edition.  Prince William County is a thriving area, having no local paper is unfathomable.  There is a huge need for local companies to advertise in paper, as well as online…and not to mention the advertising of legal notices-which cannot be posted online per state laws. 

Technology can change our way of life for the better, and in some cases for the worse.  It can take jobs, limit social skills, and force the news to use a different format, but I believe there is something about a printed, published local paper, that will eventually result in its rise from the ashes and re-emergence-not kill the internet star, but live in cohesively with it, by supplementing what the internet has to offer.

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