Sunday, March 30, 2014

Despite challenges, frum print media still strong.

The large atzeres tefillah that took place in lower Manhattan a few weeks ago was not advertised at all in the frum newspapers. It was an event put together within a few short days after the weekend papers went to print. Organizers relied heavily on the online media to spread the word. They even set up a website with updates and news of the Atzeres Tefillah. Frum websites and blogs, even news phone lines such as Yiddish news line kol mevaser, were in full gear advertising the event, bringing the masses to wall street.

It was the power of the internet, social media that got the message out. This brings into question how relevant is the frum print media, the newspapers, magazines and free weeklies. In the secular media many papers stopped printing and are only online. There is definitely a challenge from the online websites whose news cycle changes on the hour as opposed to reading up stale news that's a week old.

However there is one small factor why the papers will always be around- Shabbos- there's no turning to the gadgets or getting tweets and therefore, there will always be a reliance on the print media. its part of our oneg sabbos.(HERE) In truth many of the frum papers have shifted their messages to not just reporting news but to carry a message geared to a certain sector. Editors have been adding more features on issues, more history as apposed to exclusive news. Recently many new print publications were launched gearing to different age groups, specializing in areas such as travel, business, Torah, health and many other issues pertaining to the frum orthodox Jews. There is a lot of choice at the newspaper stand now- it could be challenging on the wallet though.

The frum newspapers and magazines have an edge over the so called blogs and websites since they have editors who take responsibility for the content. There is no anonymity involved, they are careful with what goes in and have guidelines They have standards and accountability for the content that's featured as opposed to the frum news websites where its a wild west.