How Newspapers Adapt to Social Media


Share on LinkedIn

Partial screen shot of LA Times iPhone app

The next time you visit Los Angeles, California, add this application to your iPhone, walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and watch history come alive through archived news stories from the Los Angeles Times.

Don’t have an iPhone? No problem. Their gossip queens (one of 212 newspaper Twitter accounts) can tweet you the latest Hollywood pop culture.

Don’t like or use Twitter? How about asking a question on the LA Times’ Facebook wall or on one of their dozens of news blogs?

Fact is, the LA Times is connected to the hip of online media when you’re not reading their print editions every day. The newspaper wants you to use social applications and connect with the news.

They’re not alone, either.

Closer to home, the Boston Globe offers three iPhone applications, including one for viewing real estate listings.

On the Twitter front, there are 104 departments and individuals tweeting for the newspaper.

The paper’s sections and columnists are not dedicated to Twitter, for you can log-in with Facebook and view how many of your friends clicked a “like” button at the top of Facebook Pages connected to Boston Globe sections, as this screen shot indicates:

Facebook pages from and The Boston Globe -

You can click that image to experience the magic yourself.

Newspaper management around the world recognize it is a cost-effective no-brainer to spread awareness about their news content and columnists on social networking sites, with the hopes people tell their friends and share that content and then visit the newspapers’ websites to read more and hopefully subscribe. The daily papers with larger circulations and greater advertising revenue are embracing the web much quicker and with more resources than their smaller counterparts, such as community weeklies. This should not be surprising to you.

But here’s the rub: If newspapers are online and opting not to be static but to dynamically interact with their readers and fans, why isn’t the New England Newspaper and Press Association, to single out one particular trade organization, doing the same?

The NENPA website is basic and to-the-point, but what frustrates me is the bottom of that website has links for their Facebook and Twitter pages. The former was last updated in November 2009 and the latter was last tweeted in March 2010.

Compare NENPA to the California Newspaper Publishing Association and, despite their Twitter feed being a distribution channel for their Facebook page (which is nothing more than a reverse chronological hyperlinked list to their press releases), it is clear CNPA is walking the walk much more than their New England peer.

Maybe newspaper associations think its members and fans don’t need them on social sites. But if that logic is true, then how can the association effectively advocate on behalf of the industry when they’re not doing what the industry is doing?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog is the Principal of Digital AH, providing services in digital media auditing, marketing, and training.


  1. I don’t know about the New England Newspaper and Press Association but our newspapers here are doing it and they are doing it well.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here