BY JEFF FALK
EBENEZER – The question is no longer ‘if’. But ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘to what degree’.
One would have to be living under a rock not to have noticed the revolution in media outlets going around us. No specific media industry has been more adversely affected by modernization than the newspaper.
The Harrisburg-Patriot News recently announced plans to curtail its newspaper production to three days a week. Beginning January 1, 2013, The Patriot will publish newspapers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
There was a time, seemingly not that long ago, that the Harrisburg Patriot-News staffed a full-time Lebanon bureau. But since then, The Patriot’s coverage of Lebanon County has slowed to a trickle.
“I would say the future of the newspaper is pretty cloudy, at best,” said John Tuscano, a sportswriter for The Patriot who once toiled in Lebanon. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a newspaper anywhere where the circulation is going up. The next generation that comes along will be just another one which doesn’t grow up reading newspapers. Everything now is about getting your news some other way.
“I think newspapers are doing their best to adapt,” continued Tuscano, “but the newspaper industry as a whole didn’t get out in front of the internet. They figured it out, but it was probably as much as ten years too late.”
Despite a dwindling circulation and decreased ad revenue, the Lebanon Daily News will continue to print – albeit from York – seven days a week, at least for now.
Amid further personnel cutbacks, there has been speculation that The Lebanon Daily News would follow the Patriot’s lead and cease its daily production. But at this point that is merely speculation.
Like The Harrisburg-Patriot News, the Lebanon Daily News is not locally owned and is part of a chain of newspapers.