News & Opinion

What newsbrands mean to me

Jessie Sampson, insight executive at Newsworks, on why news and newsbrands remain as valuable as ever.

I find it tricky to articulate what newsbrands mean to me because they are so engrained in everyday life. I take them for granted in the same way that I take electricity for granted.

I recently read an article about how empty newsstands in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy added to the panic people felt when they emerged from their safe havens. I think that says a lot about the importance of newsbrands. They are so fundamental that we often don't appreciate them but as soon as they're not available our internal alarm bells start to ring.

Newspapers and their online counterparts beat a familiar rhythm into my days and weeks. On the rare occasions I can’t get hold of a paper before I get on the tube the journey drags; I'm that person that peers over your shoulder to read your paper, fighting the urge to protest if you turn the page before I'm finished.

I love the convenience of news apps and online sites. If you have a smartphone then never again do you have to sit gazing into the middle distance if you turn up too early to meet someone or are left hanging around in a waiting room. As long as you have a signal then you always have something informative or entertaining to read. This ability makes me feel in touch and connected.

My appreciation of online news doesn't detract from how much I value newspapers. Come Saturday, I want a doorstop thick paper to peruse and I encounter articles and sections that I would never have thought to click on online.

Sometimes, if there is a big piece of news, I stash the paper away in a box in the attic. Leafing through the contents reveals a fragmented chronology of headlines, from the death of King George VI  in 1952 to the 2012 Olympics. I know that these days a record of news stories will be eternally available online, but I like adding to the pile of papers my Grandma started. It gives me a sense of continuity.

The balance newsbrands are currently facing is how to maintain continuity whilse utilising change. For me, traditional and digital media are both central to my consumption of news and this enables newsbrands to fit seamlessly into the fabric of my everyday life. Yet, whilst the industry is going through a period of change, there is an enduring core which unites my box of 60 year old papers with the tablets we use today – the news, and newsbrands, remain as valuable as ever.


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