Web editor’s note: this article was recently published in the March 5 edition of the North Georgia Advocate. If you would like more information about subscribing to the North Georgia Advocate during the March Subscription Campaign, please visit ngumc.org/advocate.
By GLENN HANNIGAN
You are holding a dinosaur in your hands. But you already knew that.
We’ve been hearing it for years. Newspapers are dying and nearly extinct. And before long all news—and virtually all communications—will be digitally transmitted. As for print media, the obits have been written and eulogies delivered. We are just waiting for the burial.
The emerging digital revolution, and the ability to move mountains of information at warp speed, has made print publications as critical to communications as buggy whips are to transportation.
So, why are newspapers still in circulation? Why are you holding one in your hands? Because they still matter. And they have a unique role in communications.
I am reminded of that regularly, almost every time I check e-mails or retrieve phone messages. There is a certain validation about seeing something in print that makes information seem more real, tangible. It is one of the main reasons the Advocate gets so many requests to publish news and photos from events that might be more than a week old. It’s the reason people will request extra copies of papers that highlight their church or ministries.
It’s the reason you so often see athletes, or politicians, gleefully holding up a newspaper proclaiming their big triumph. It doesn’t have the same impact if you do that with a laptop or Blackberry.
You can hold a newspaper in your hands and share it with a friend, frame a page and hang it on a wall, or send copies to friends and family.
Many of us save copies of newspapers for good reason. There is a power in print that video or electronic media cannot replicate. But just as the influence of radio decreased after the emergence of television, so the influence of newspapers will wane, but will not disappear entirely.
There are some reasonable arguments to stop publishing the North Georgia Advocate. But there is a much stronger case to keep it in circulation. Certainly, there are more efficient ways to share information with the 930 churches in the North Georgia Conference. In reality, there is no more effective way.
The power of print. It is why people are passionate about getting their news in the Advocate. It is why we receive so many e-mails and calls suggesting stories, photos or news items.
People not only want to see their news and information in the newspaper, they want other people across the Conference to know about it and to see it.
If you are not currently subscribing to the Advocate, you don’t know what you are missing. You also don’t know what is going on in the far reaches of the North Georgia Conference.
Our current subscription drive is vital to the future of this newspaper. For $25 a year, it is a value that is hard to beat. You might pay more for one chance to see some dusty dinosaur fossils in a museum.