Almost every day, someone tells me, “Oh, I don’t read anything in print anymore. I get all of my news and information from online sources (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) only. Haven’t you heard that print is dead?”
I’ve written about this before, but after the whirlwind pre-holiday rush of new ads — and literally dozens of new requests for our advertising information — I’ve had over the past several months and, especially, the last two weeks, if print really is dead, my question is, why the seemingly neverending, and even increasing, requests for ads in the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News?
Among the good news, for us, is that so many of the people opening new businesses in either of our distribution areas also live in those areas. So many of the people who have called, emailed or requested advertising info on our website recently have told me that not only do they read us, they look upon us as what I have long been calling us — the primary source of “real” news and information for and about the residents and businesses in and near New Tampa and Wesley Chapel.
Others requesting our information who don’t necessarily live in one of our distribution areas have been told by their friends or business associates who do live in one of those areas that ours are the ONLY publications they receive at their homes that they actually read, and that they trust the veracity of our news and the responsible reporting we provide about our areas more than any other source — print, broadcast or online.
Speaking of online sources — I would be lying if I said that we don’t utilize local Facebook communities and other online media sources as sources of some of the stories we ultimately put in print. The difference, however, is that we don’t just look stuff up online or offer our mean-spirited opinions without actually speaking with the sources of those stories (or, in many cases, attending or watching the government meetings regarding those stories).
Managing editor John Cotey and I are not online “trolls” — we’re not looking to make obnoxious comments about anyone’s honest requests for information or to rip into a business because we see ourselves as “anonymous.” To the contrary, we’re both trained journalists with decades of combined experience who put our names on everything we write and publish, whether in print or online.
Likewise, our freelance writers, particularly correspondent Celeste McLaughlin, also have years of working with us, so they know that if they make claims on behalf of our clients in the Business Features we publish (in every issue and online) that don’t ring true or need to be clarified, that I, as the editor, will make sure those questions and concerns are answered to my satisfaction and/or clarified properly.
This completely-hands-on approach to editing isn’t easy, but it is both my responsibility and pleasure to make sure that when we tell you about the businesses who are seeking your business, that the stories we publish about them are true, to the very best of our ability to verify that information. And, the fact that so many of our advertisers always have (for the past 29 years) and continue to tell us every day that the stories we’ve published about them have brought them in more response and more new customers than any other medium is proof that our approach continues to work.
So, if you want to continue to believe that “print is dead,” that’s your prerogative, but if you appreciate journalism that is based on facts and solid research, and opinion pieces (like this one and my dining reviews) that present viewpoints that arise out of years of knowledge and experience, as well as research, I hope you’ll not only continue to read us but also tell your friends and neighbors about us. And, most important of all, please tell any of the dozens of businesses that spend money to advertise with us that you heard about them because, as a reader of the Neighborhood News, you know that “Print ISN’T dead!”
Speaking of new advertisers, here is a listing of the businesses in this issue who only recently began buying ads with us. We hope you’ll spend your hard-earned money with them (and our longer-term advertisers) and feel free to let us know that you did — even (or perhaps, especially) if those businesses fall short of your expectations, rather than go online to criticize them without at least giving me (and them) the opportunity to makes things right with you, if at all possible.
Here are those new (and relatively new) advertisers who would had ads in our last two issues and would love to hear from you that “Print isn’t dead!”
Apex Internal Medicine
Darlin Lash & Beauty Bar
Edward Jones Tampa Palms
Edward Jones Zephyrhills
Enviroserv Pest Management
Florida Heritage Insurance
Grace Episcopal Church
North Tampa Law Group
Oriental Rug Care
The Legacy Studio.
Peak TRT and Wellness
Happy Holidays from the Neighborhood News!