I’m leaning toward the view that the question of advertising has to
be decided apart from the issue of editorial. The editorial “content” that
newspapers provide is just as often or more often viewed on computer screens
as it is on paper these days. But ads are a different story. The print
edition has more ads than the newspaper website has. Newsprint ads are
considered part of the product, while ads on the website are often
considered an intrusion. (Editor’s italics).
We have a situation where the news stories work pretty much the same on
paper or on the web. But the ads only work well on paper–and fewer and
fewer people hold newspapers in their hands.
So if the only question is “how effective will the ad be?” then newspaper
advertising is not the best play. But there may be another consideration.
You may want to spend some money on newspaper advertising to build or
maintain good relations with the newspaper. You and I were raised on the
model of absolute separation between advertising and editorial, of course.
But with newspapers in financial trouble it is only human nature that they
will tend to remember the folks who support them.
I am not suggesting anything like a quid pro quo deal. It’s on a deeper level than that.
It’s a recognition that they value your role in the community and you value