A recent call from a reader illustrated just how poorly the communications media can be in communicating its goals.
The caller wanted to know why we hadn’t made a bigger deal of coverage related to Congress. It ran on the front page, but in a position newsies refer to as “downpage,” or “below the fold,” a spot that gets no love from those looking at the front page in a sales box.
Choosing a front page lineup has never been an easy task, but now that most people get much of their national and international news from online or broadcast sources, local news organizations such as ours have recalibrated our priorities.
Studies tracking how, when and why people access news, and what kinds of news they access on their many mobile devices show Americans of all ages look to different sources for different information. For example, a survey by Media Insight Project – an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research – found that “the topic and speed of the story largely determines where people go to learn about events and the path they take to get there.”
“In contrast to the idea that one generation tends to rely on print, another on television and still another the web, the majority of Americans across generations now combine a mix of sources and technologies to get their news each week,” the survey found.
So what does that mean to local news sources, such as The Sun News? What focus on the coverage that readers can’t get anywhere else, whether online or in print: Stories, photos and videos focusing on local issues and personalities, in detail and with context. (See Sunday’s exclusive article on the challenges faced by area farm families to cash in on the agri-tourism push as just one example.)
When choosing the top four or five articles for the front page, our default is to display our exclusive coverage of local issues. You may find the top national and international news of the day represented on Page 1A of the print edition, depending on what has happened and its local-content competition for the prime front-page real estate. Whether it’s there or not, you can always find those national and international stories on www.myrtlebeachonline.com, where we publish McClatchy, Associated Press and The New York Times’ coverage from across the globe.
Taste of Home
If you love to cook, wish you did, or wish you knew more about it, The Sun News is sponsoring a special event on Saturday just for you in the Hall at St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church on U.S. 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach, just across from Broadway at the Beach.
For the second year, we are bringing The Taste of Home Cooking Show to the Myrtle Beach area so that you can watch culinary expert Michelle Roberts share her home cooking tips and demonstrate step-by-step recipes for the season’s best dishes. The Taste of Home Cooking School trains home chefs at similar events across the country.
Just to temp your taste buds, here’s one dish she’ll demonstrate: Gingerbread Cheesecake. Plus, you’ll get copies of the recipes demonstrated at the show as well as the school’s magazine and coupons from national food companies.
Tickets are $15 in advance at $20 at the door. You can get them from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Sun News, 914 Frontage Road E., or online at http://toh2014.brownpapertickets.com/ .
As always, thanks for reading and letting us know how we’re doing.