(Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Arkansas Baptist News column “Pressing On” August 23, 2018.)
By Tim Yarbrough
Earlier this month the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) gathered in Little Rock to celebrate the work of your state newspaper and to consider strategies to keep its ministry healthy and moving forward into the future.
It goes without saying that the work of all traditional newspapers – not just those carrying Baptist news and information – has undergone a seismic shift in recent years.
While secular, for-profit newspapers have always been dependent on subscriptions and advertising revenue, Baptist newspapers have been dependent on a combination of paid subscriptions, Cooperative Program (CP) funding and advertising revenue.
This model has worked well for many Baptist newspapers – even as print readership declines – but today it faces increased challenges from rising postage and printing costs.
I’ve written in this space many times of the great reach the ABN has throughout our state through both print and digital readership. Today, digital readership – meaning those who access our newspaper through our Facebook page, other social media and at arkansasbaptist.org – has never been greater and rivals the number of our paid print subscribers.
The challenge moving forward is declining revenue of print subscribers and replacing this revenue, which supplements the cost of printing and mailing the newspaper that most of you still hold in your hands every two weeks.
For many years the CP has supplemented the cost of the print version . . . READ MORE