When the Occupy Wall Street movement wanted to get its message out, what did it do?
It published a newspaper.
Called "The Occupied Wall Street Journal," the print product had a circulation of about 5,000 copies distributed by old-fashioned barkers.
One of the editors said the traditional broadsheet paper brought a "super hip retro" feel to the social-media-savvy protest.
"It's so old, it's new," he said.
Politics aside, the fact that the protesters turned to publishing a newspaper shows the reach such a product still has in conveying information.
That's why it is no surprise to me that recent research shows that overall newspaper readership (online and print) is increasing.
Findings by comScore show that newspapers have seen a 20 percent increase in the last year in total visits to their websites. The Standard-Examiner has seen a whopping 65 percent increase in visits to our website year-over-year, while our Sunday print circulation is up almost 9 percent for the same time period.
And here's some other national data compiled by the Newspaper Association of America:
* Local newspaper websites rank first among all local media sources for trustworthiness, credibility and being most informative ("Site Matters," comScore, 2009).
* Newspaper advertising, in print and online, is cited by shoppers as their top choice for planning shopping and making purchasing decisions ("How America Shops and Spends," Frank N. Magid Associates, 2011).
As a sort of local testimony as to our reach, we recently received the following letter:
We want to express our sincere thanks to the Standard-Examiner for the profile they did of our cafe. Our business received the boost we were hoping for and we are extremely grateful. We have heard that others had received a similar response upon their profiles being featured in the GO! section. This is a tremendous service you provide to the local eateries to make their business known to a broad audience. So, once again, we thank you for the great article!
Jeff and Mara Criddle
Newspapers, print and online, are still the primary source for most local news and commentary. Bloggers, television news and other media mostly aggregate news that has already appeared in a newspaper.
That's why the Newspaper Association of America has launched a new marketing campaign designed to inform readers of the primary role newspapers have in disseminating news and information. The campaign -- "Smart is the New Sexy. The Newspaper. Get it." -- focuses on how much more intelligent and informed newspaper readers are.
But you already knew that, didn't you?
HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW: Well, Monday that is. The great "Ratty Beard vs Hippie Hair" battle between Standard-Examiner columnists Charles Trentelman and Mark Saal will be settled Monday.
As of Friday, sources tell me the United Way fundraiser is neck-and-neck. Any last-minute donations could swing the tide.
The winner, or loser, depending on your point of view, will be announced at the newspaper's office in Business Depot Ogden at 1 p.m. You're all invited to witness the event. You can attend in person, or you can watch it live on our website at www.standard.net as we plan streaming video.
The real winner, of course, is the United Way of Northern Utah.
Andy Howell is executive editor. He can be reached at 801-625-4210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.