Ladies and gentlemen, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always tremendously enjoyed reading the latest news of interest to me and the opinions and commentary on those subjects.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been in the paper and journalism business for nearly two decades now.
When I was a youngster, I’d often visit my Grandparents for lunch, or walk over to their home after school. The first thing I’d do when I walked through their front door is grab the latest newspapers that my Grandmother would save for me. She always put them in the same place on a bookshelf in their living room. They subscribed to the local newspaper in the small town in which we lived, along with a metro paper that had several sections every day.
Most kids my age, I’m sure, didn’t share such a routine, but for me, it was a real treat.
I’d eagerly get to reading, and I remember always going to the opinion section to not only check out the columns and editorials, but look for letters to the editor, as well – to read about what folks around town were saying on matters of local interest.
Of course, the newspaper industry has changed greatly over the years. I’m sure your business has also changed over time. But one trend I have noticed, especially over the last five to 10 years, is that letters to the editor have decreased dramatically.
I just don’t see those as frequently these days. Why?
As you and I both know, it’s because of the Internet.
In the “old days,” someone would read, let’s say, a newspaper opinion column that someone wrote, agree or disagree with it, then would sit down and write a letter to the editor agreeing or disagreeing with the column, then mail it to the newspaper or drop it off at the paper’s office in town. Then someone would type out the letter to the editor, an editor put it on the opinion page, and later in the day, newspapers would roll off the presses and then distributed to the readership.
Naturally, things are a lot faster than that these days.
Today, letters to the editor can be emailed, but what is happening on a more regular basis is that folks are commenting on the stories online, often going back and forth with fellow readers in a dialogue that can last for days.
Here at Paperitalo Publications, we also enjoy all the letters to the editor we receive, and publish them on a timely basis over on Nip Impressions. We hope you’ll keep ’em coming by emailing them to me or Executive Editor Jim Thompson, but in case you haven’t noticed already, we’ve very recently introduced a new comment system feature on Nip Impressions and here on PaperMoney where you can comment on articles on both sites via Facebook. (And if you didn’t know, Paperitalo Publications also has a Facebook page if you’d like to check it out…)
You also have the option to share articles on both our flagship publications on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. And we also have a new feedback system for our Pulp & Paper Radio International weekly news podcasts. Our audience over there is growing, and if you don’t listen regularly, I’d encourage you to do so.
We want to hear from you.
Steve Roush is Managing Editor and Publisher and in charge of the International Desk at Paperitalo Publications. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.