Publisher’s Perspective: Party like it’s … 1958?
Well, not quite.
June 26, 1958 is a special day in the history of the Tahoe Tribune. It marks the first day the then-named “Tahoe-Sierra Tribune” published.
Rather than get sentimental about what has happened over the past 59 years (there will be plenty of time for that when we’re 60), I thought I’d talk about where we’re going.
Back in 2002 when I started my career in media at the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, I would have never thought that storytelling would rely so much on what we do in the digital sphere.
Back then the internet was just starting to hit its stride and many of the channels we now use to connect with people didn’t even exist. However, core fundamentals still remained — tell interesting stories and produce engaging content that connects with people.
This concept has not changed. What people may consider engaging or important could change, it will still be the nexus to the audiences we are trying to reach as we navigate the unknown in the digital world we live in.
I was once asked whether or not the “paper” would go away. Without going into too much detail, my answer at the time was essentially “no.”
When the radio was invented, people said it would be the death of newspapers — same thing when the television was invented. While it changed the game, it wasn’t the end.
So while the advent of the internet forced newspapers to change their landscape in a whole new way, I don’t think this is the end either. But then again, I don’t consider us a newspaper.
When I think of the Tribune, I think of us as a media company that reaches audiences on multiple platforms. Whether it’s on our website, through a mobile device or social channels, we’re definitely more than a newspaper.
If I were asked that same question today, I would probably say that I don’t know. While I don’t foresee us going anywhere, how we reach people in the future may not be through the printed word. That’s the difficulty of trying to navigate a world that is moving so fast in the digital landscape.
For the foreseeable future, there are people who still love to hold that printed copy and turn the pages while sipping a cup of coffee. There’s nostalgia and a sense of comfort in that with people.
As long as there is enough of those people who take in content that way, there will be a printed copy. It will most certainly become less and less as time goes by and more people read our content on other devices and platforms, but the conversation shouldn’t be about shrinking pages — it should focus on reaching audiences however they want to access our content.
If the conversation about keeping a printed copy disappoints you, you can take a little solace in this: In Tahoe, we’re a little different than most markets across the U.S., which adds another wrinkle into the preservation of the printed version.
When you think about engaging with another audience of ours (visitors), they are typically conditioned to pick it up and learn about what’s going on locally. Think about your own habits when you go on vacation.
It’s hard to know the right local website that’s going to give you the info on what you are seeking. But if you see something that looks to do this in a printed version, you pick it up and thumb through.
It’s one of the reasons that the Tribune is available for free — and one of the reasons we still put a large effort in putting out a printed version.
Whether it’s via print or digitally, we’ll still strive to adhere to the same goals we had back in 1958 — tell interesting stories and produce engaging content that connects with people.
That will never change and it shouldn’t. We want to tell those stories that are important for you as community members to know about and engage with.
Many people have played a part in the storyline of the Tribune over the last 59 years. Many of you still live in the community. For that, I want to thank you.
Good or bad, the focus of getting relevant news out to the people who want to know what’s happening was, and always will, remain — just as the Tribune.
Publisher Rob Galloway can be reached at email@example.com or 530-542-8046.