You’re interested in your community.
And you’re reading the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger.
We’re so glad you are.
We did our first ever circulation audit through the nationally known Circulation Verification Council (CVC) this year, and learned a little bit more about you and how much you value us.
CVC talks to people via residential and cell phone surveys, online surveys, email surveys, and social media surveys.
They specifically talked to people only in our distribution area about us, and asked how often people pick up a paper. A whopping 7 of 10 people who get the Messenger delivered to their front doors look at it each month.
Six of 10 people say they regularly purchase products or services they see from ads in the Messenger and its sister publication in St. Paul, the Midway Como Frogtown Monitor. That’s a pretty high rate given the variety of places folks see ads. (And our propensity for pointing to the last place we saw something, which is usually Google for directions and hours!)
I was pretty excited to see that 2.1 people touch each copy that we print. That means you’re passing the paper along to others. You’re saying, “I read about this issue in the Messenger – check out the article.” “Did you hear about what our neighbor is doing in her free time? Look at this Messenger.” “I didn’t know this was happening two blocks over until I read the Messenger - do you know?”
What I’ve always loved about newspapers is how they cut through barriers like how much money you make and what race category you fall into. The Messenger goes to every single house in our distribution area (you can see our distribution map on our web site). Big, small, old, new. It is delivered to renters and homeowners.
Our demographics show that. Ten percent of our readers make under $34,999, 15% earn $35,000-$49,999, 21% earn $50,000-$74,999, 17% earn $75,000-$99,999, 21% earn$100,000-$150,000, and 16% make more.
CVC also asked about education levels, and found that our readers value learning. Thirty-five percent have graduated from college and 18% have earned higher degrees.
We’re happy to see that we have folks of all ages. We know kiddos, teens and college-aged folks don’t read newspapers as much, and just 1% of those surveyed said they read the Messenger. But it starts to pick up as folks get older, start their careers, and start wanting to get more involved in their communities. The breakdown is: 16% are between ages 25-34, 22% between 35-44, 45% between 45-64, 12% between 65-74 and 1% over 75.
Know what those numbers don’t show?
They don’t show that Gen X, Y and Z aren’t reading newspapers. Instead, we see that they are.
We used to hear that print was a dying medium and everything (including the ads that support it) was moving online. As a member of Gen X, which has been maligned for being cynics and slackers, I can attest to being disenfranchised with social media and I’m on there just enough to do my work and catch up with folks. But I am hearing from more and more people that they need a break from device and want to have a paper product to page through. Plus, they’re seeking out news about their neighborhood, and the only place to get that is via their community newspaper.
We’re hearing that across all ages. It’s not just a rumbling in the Twin Cities but a roar nationwide.
People want news they can trust. They can trust writers and photographers and sales reps that they bump into at the grocery store.
It’s the kind of journalism I believe in. It’s what I strive to provide in each edition of the Messenger.
So, thanks for reading us. Thanks for advertising your local business in our pages, and thanks for supporting neighborhood businesses with your purchases. Thanks for sharing story tips, letters, and events.
Thanks for passing our papers along to your spouses, children, neighbors, and friends.
Pay it forward
Of the news that feeds our democracy, 85% of it originates with newspapers. That’s what a recent survey by the Pew Research Center found. You may see it on television, read it on Apple News or through your friend’s Facebook feed, or hear it on the radio. But the majority of that news started with a newspaper journalist.
In addition to supporting the Messenger and other local papers, there’s something else I’d like to ask you to check out.
Have you heard about the Local Journalism Sustainability Act? It’s in front of Congress right now, and we’d love for you to make a call or send an email in support of newspapers.
Read more at America’s Newspapers: https://newspapers.org/ljsa/.
Unlike most things in politics, S.2434 and its companion H.R. 3940, has bipartisan support. The bill seeks to help local newspapers sustain financial viability through a series of three tax credits.
News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern said, “The Local Journalism Sustainability Act, through targeted tax incentives for consumers and businesses, would help ensure local news publishers continue to report on information that’s necessary to an informed democracy. Access to fact-based, verifiable information is essential to a functioning democracy and is the fabric of our communities.”
AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees president Jennifer Dorning stated, “The Local Journalism Sustainability Act is critical legislation for journalists and other media professionals, including members of DPE’s unions, working across the news industry at print, digital and broadcast outlets. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the essential work that these professionals do to keep our communities reliably informed. This legislation will help ensure media professionals can stay on the job and continue delivering news to their communities.”
The bill would give tax credits for those who subscribe to newspapers, those who advertise and journalists. (See sidebar)
Knowing what’s going on in our community is fundamental to our democracy.
Let’s keep it going.