The Pequeño Papers
John Morton's February/March column, "The Newspaper Business," about newspapers "once again" turning to niche publishing made me smile--once again.
Lately it's the Spanish-language niche for which many dailies are creating new products. The main reason is because these dailies have seen erosion in their circulation. The demographics have changed but the dailies haven't.
These decisions are driven more by the perceived need to satisfy advertisers' demands and less by an altruistic desire to "serve the community." Many dailies have seen Spanish-language publishers in their markets develop strong newspapers with excellent editorial content and significant advertising linage. So they try to recoup linage and subscriber numbers with their new products.
Why does it make me smile? Because the pioneering Spanish-language efforts go largely unreported, especially those in the smaller markets. Spanish-language newspapers have thrived in all parts of the U.S. for decades. Our own Spanish-language weekly, Viva, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. We're a 15,000-circulation newspaper published in Central Washington, and a member of the National Association of Hispanic Publications.
The Johnny-come-lately niche publishers get the ink. Meanwhile, those of us who have been serving those niche markets for 20 and 30 years continue to succeed, because we connect to the community and have a history with our readers.
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