With print media in decline across the country, several newspapers are moving to an all-online format. Communications professor Carrol Haggard researched the issue and was recently published in The Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies.
Haggard, who co-authored the case study, “The Daily Examiner: Strategic Initiative 2013” with Patricia LaPoint, created the fictitious Daily Examiner, a newspaper moving to an online format.
“The case deals with the example of a newspaper that is facing that issue,” Haggard said.
Haggard said the case study cites trends in newspaper readership across the country and The Daily Examiner is intended to reflect those issues.
“The case sites nationwide there’s declining readership of print versions,” Haggard said. “Many newspapers are either weighing offers or are closing down.”
The decline in print readership is attributed to younger, more tech savvy readers relying on getting their information online.
He said one of the main issues is making the online content accessible to older readers.
“The older generation still likes to have the hard copy,” Haggard said. “I like to hold something in my hands so I can turn pages.
“The younger generation wants to see stuff online, so in terms of the transition, for the older generation to go online it’s more of a hassle and something they’re not used to, and that’s the real adjustment.”
While older readers prefer to read print versions of books and newspapers, Haggard said those readers will have no choice but to adapt.
“It’s a point of preference for me,” Haggard said. “I want the hard copy, but if it’s not available to me, I have to go online.”
Haggard said the biggest loss comes in the printing industry. Workers who produce newspapers typically lose their jobs when moving to an all-online format.
The Hays Daily News recently moved its printing operations to Salina, resulting in the print workers losing their jobs.
“Newspapers seem to be making the transition pretty well, one of the things our case deals with is what do you do with the workers in the printing operations because most of them lose their jobs,” Haggard said.