OTHER OPINION: Death of newspapers greatly exaggerated

By Sun Herald, Biloxi/Gulfport

A study of Mississippi media usage just completed by American Opinion Research for the Mississippi Press Association found seven of every 10 Mississippi adults read a newspaper, either in print or online. That’s pretty consistent with national research and reflects the Sun Herald’s own documented south Mississippi audience, which has never been larger.
Moreover, half of all Mississippi adults read a printed daily or Sunday newspaper, which will surprise many who thought print was dead.
The Sun Herald has never bought into that notion and remains committed to delivering a print edition every morning to homes across south Mississippi.
It found almost half of all consumers say printed newspapers are their primary source of sales and shopping information, significantly higher than the second choice, television, at 13 percent of adults.
Most Internet users in Mississippi (88 percent) have a computer, laptop or tablet at home with Internet access, a significant gain over previous studies.
Of course we find these results very satisfying; while competitors continually try to convince themselves that ours is a dying breed it’s always nice to have our own faith in newspapers reaffirmed with facts. But it’s also a good sign for Mississippi, as our readership levels and our state’s Internet connectivity have rapidly grown to the national average.
For newspapers, growing readership means growing audiences in print and online and those additional eyeballs are important to advertisers. The Internet provides easy access to newspaper journalism, especially in more sparsely populated areas where printed newspaper delivery has always been difficult. All of that combines to produce a better-informed Mississippi. Smart people read newspapers. You’re proof of that!