The Newspaper: Less a Medium than a Feeding Tube
Today I came across a banner ad run by the Newspaper Association of America, which seeks to reposition "the newspaper" -- a rolled-up, grayish mound of reading material that occasionally appears on the threshold of hotel room doors -- as "The Multi-Medium."
"Is newspaper old media or new media?" the ad asks, followed by an enigmatic, all-encompassing response: "Yes." Below the text is a woman whose newspaper appears to be feeding content to other media from a bunch of wires and cords. Cute.
Click-throughs guide the perplexed to Newspaper Media. With pretty imagery, plenty of data -- many of which are broken links -- and sentences that melodramatically start, "In a world where consumers are tuning out advertising...", the NAA hopes we'll start perceiving newspapers as less a stagnating medium than an abstract (but stable!) concept: "newspaper" isn't just where Gram finds the crossword; it is THE legit news source, offline and online (unless you're looking for data on why).
And the NAA can help you (yes, you!) advertise on both.
In defense of the NAA's position -- which could use some work, starting with those dead links -- print media isn't dying so very quickly. Newspaper readership grew 2.5 percent in the top 100 markets, according to a survey from earlier this year. And trusted newspaper brands increasingly dip into other so-called "new" media: mobile and internet, for a start. The New York Times even started embedding video.
See? Nobody's dying. Now go help Rupert Murdoch finance a new yacht.