Is Social Media the New Print

Social media is changing the way we consume news. News is now spreading faster than ever due to increased use of social media platforms. According to Mark Zuckerberg, he wants Facebook to serve as the world's newspaper. And he has a point, I learned about the resignation of Sean Spicer on Facebook. In the last twelve months, traffic from home pages has dropped significantly across many news websites, while social media's share of news stories has more than doubled. 52% of digital news consumers say they get at least some news from Twitter or Facebook. Although TV is still the number one source of news at 60%, social media is close to 30% or half way there.

Unfortunately newspapers are becoming an antiquated media not to mention the impact on the environment. Do you remember these . . .

The Montreal Star was an English-language Canadian newspaper published in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It folded in 1979 in the wake of an eight-month pressmen's strike.
The paper was published by Midnight founder Joe Azaria, who also tried without success to turn the paper into a daily, under the name Daily Express. That experiment lasted less than a year, as the paper was unable to compete with the then-dominant Montreal Star and the second place Montreal Gazette (now Montreal's only English daily). The Montreal Gazette is next in line with a much thinner edition and less than 100,000 papers printed daily. The paper was published by Midnight founder Joe Azaria, who also tried without success to turn the paper into a daily, under the name Daily Express. That experiment lasted less than a year, as the paper was unable to compete with the then-dominant Montreal Star and the second place Montreal Gazette (now Montreal's only English daily).

The Montreal Gazette is becoming smaller and smaller as the cost to advertise and pay for your subscription increases. The current cost of a one page ad is $ 15,000 and with less than 100,000 copies being printed daily, the cost efficiency is not good. Also, print is an antiquated media by virtue of the fact that it has a negative impact on the environment and requires daily delivery

La Presse seems to have figured out a better way by investing $ 40,000,000 in an iPad application. They stopped print hard copies last year after 131 consecutive years because they reached what media analysts call a crossover point where digital revenue far surpasses print revenue. Readership fell by about half to 80,000 copies weekdays versus 240,000 online subscribers.

In sum, is social media the new print? The question was posed to me by a dear friend who is a media expert and I believe that the answer is yes. I will scroll Facebook regularly looking for photos and stories, much like I used to read the newspaper. Whenever there is breaking news, I check Facebook or CNN. Whereas newspapers offer dated news, in other words stories that have already taken place. In this day and age, we can watch stories taking place live on social media or TV.

It's a new world out there. Even my 87 year old mother cancelled her subscription to the Gazette. That says something.

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