Editorial: Keep Newspaper In Print

Over the past few decades, it has become a commonplace for newspapers to either close or print less frequently. It has been said that print is a dying medium, with the internet being a more accessible tool for gaining information.

While things may look bleak for print media, not all hope is lost. In the humble opinion of a newspaper staff who publishes a printed version of a newspaper, print is not dead. While a website may be more convenient, there is nothing like the feeling of flipping the pages of a paper and seeing the well-thought out layout.

A lot of careful consideration goes into how a newspaper looks, and that artistic touch is lost when looking at an online formatted rendition.

On Friday, Feb. 7, the Enfield Press confirmed they will cease publication later this month. Other publications, such as the Hartford Courant, have substantially reduced their staff to a fraction of what it used to be in the past in order to maintain their print copies.

This is sadly the way of the modern world. Most people want to consume their news electronically and aren’t going out to buy newspapers. Many people believe it is easier to go on their phone and download an app to read the news versus searching for a newspaper stand.

As more and more readers do this, a large amount of people are choosing to not buy a physical newspaper. As someone who works for a newspaper, this is a sad reality.

The Enfield Press was over 140 years old, starting under the name Thompsonville Press. The small paper focused only on local events, such as car accidents, marriages and town meetings, as well as miscellaneous information about the local farming area.

Former Enfield Mayor Scott Kaupin told Patch of his sadness that the Enfield Press is closing.

The Enfield Press has truly been a community newspaper that focused on the good happening in our town,” Kaupin said. “Recently, I have really enjoyed reading the ‘Our Town – This Week in Enfield History’ page of local news and gossip from 130 years ago. Losing this source for local news is really sad news.”

Former employees also shared their disappointment, as Enfield Press was a reliable source of local news.

“I think it’s the silencing of another editorial voice reporting the news of the day that is being lost here, and that is unfortunate,” Frank Poirot, editor-in-chief of the Enfield Press, stated.

Although the Enfield Press was seen as a beloved news source, there were logical and financial reasons why the paper could not keep printing. People not buying a newspaper isn’t great but journalists shouldn’t abandon the idea of printing newspaper.

Considering the printing press is arguably the greatest invention, people shouldn’t just forget about it. 

According to the Journalism Inquirer, Fran Smith, the general manager of Remainder Publishing, “wasn’t able to stand on its own two feet,” as it had become redundant and was not financially viable. As of late, the paper only sold 1,000 copies per weekly issue.

According to Journalism.org, the estimated total of U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2018 was 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday, down 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively, from the previous year. Weekday print circulation decreased 12 percent and Sunday print circulation decreased 13 percent.

While online versions of the news should still be readily available, printed copies should still be available for those who appreciate the hard work that goes into laying out a paper.

It’s called a newspaper for a reason, it is meant to stay in paper format.