April 1926: The Colorado Editor’s first issue is published.
“With this issue the Colorado Editorial Association steps into the present days of progress and industry with its own publication,” then Executive Director Edwin Bemis penned. “It’s modest, yes, and needs the help of the members of the association to make it most serviceable to all.”
The publication was a sign of progress. But, as happens, times and needs change.
April 2017: Ninety-one years after Bemis printed the first Colorado Editor, in your hands is the inaugural issue of PressNext.
With this issue, the Colorado Press Association continues to progress. Much like in 1926, we will need our members’ help to ensure it’s “most serviceable” as we look to the future.
Before we delve into days-to-come, let’s look at days-past to see how and why this change occurred.
In recent years, CPA had a partner arrangement to help with production costs of the Colorado Editor. However, in late 2016, the partner was purchased and new ownership did not wish to continue the gentlemen’s agreement. We truly appreciate the partnership we had during that timeframe.
Taking on the full cost of producing the Editor to send to 300 people per month did not seem like a wise use of member dues when we had other ways to communicate with members, such as our e-publication, Colorado e-Editor.
Through loss of a partner came opportunity to remodel the publication. We asked in 2017 and beyond: What are the industry’s challenges and how can we help our members face them? In this new Internet age, what defines the press and what strategies can our print and online members use moving forward?
In short, what is next for the press?
When I’m out and about, I have found people have a desire for news about the news; a concept that makes many of us uncomfortable. However, in today’s climate, news in the news is our reality. And we should embrace that.
Why? Perception is a big industry issue. Yes, the industry has had its challenges, much like other legacy media. But we seem to enjoy loading bullets into a gun with headlines about our demise so we can shoot ourselves, but rarely load up on the stories about industry (or our own) success stories.
And that doesn’t even begin to delve into “Fake News” or “Enemy” battle adding to the perception battle. Colorado media need a voice in the perception fight.
We need more than a print publication for members; we need a thought leadership piece for members and the public at large.
We also need a publication to help our members become more aware of what others are doing successfully as a guide, while also providing leadership and education on challenges they will be facing.
In order to do that, we needed a new direction — one focused on the industry’s current needs.
Enter PressNext, a quarterly magazine. Click here to read the first edition. We also needed a partner with a shared vision. Enter Publication Printers. I couldn’t be more thrilled that Kerri Rosenberg-Hallet and her team have agreed to partner with us during this transition.
If you work with them, you know the high quality product Publication Printers provides, as well as their outstanding customer service. In chats with Kerri, she knows the importance of the news industry and the need for more thought leadership for both the public and the media.
The partnership plan starts with a two-year timeframe. In year one, the magazine will begin its transition from a members-only publication toward a public- and member-facing magazine. In year two, we want the magazine to have a statewide reach, so articles are relevant to members and the public alike. This is where we need your help.
First, we need to know your stories. Too often papers don’t share their successes and only lament on losses. We can learn from each other, as can the public.
Secondly, we have yet to decide if in year two it will be a free publication or paid. Regardless, we’re hoping members can help with distribution, either by inserting it into their papers or distributing it to racks.
But how does this benefit you?
First, it will provide education for you as a member and for your community that it’s distributed in.
Two, if we are able to create a successful statewide network with appropriate revenue base, we will be looking at ways to compensate you, either through lower dues or a revenue share.
Ultimately, we hope to create a new voice to discuss and educate on media issues help lead to what’s next for the press.