Nine reasons to pay for a newspaper

A few years ago I headed the development of the tablet edition of the largests swedish morningpaper. (It won the Tablet Publishing category in the European Digital Media Awards 2013 some days ago.)

When we started the project I made a list with as many reasons I could come up with for a reader to subscribe to a newspaper. I wanted to make sure that it was all clear that peoples reasons for reading a newspaper aren’t that simple and rational.

Having worked with media development for many years I have of course arranged and read many surveys and focus groups, but I didn’t want to drown people in data. I wanted to synthesize all my experience in a very short and condensed list, as a starting point for our discussions. You’ll find my list below.

Have I nailed it? Missed something? Should something be removed? Or have I completely misunderstood this topic?

And what are the important conclusions to draw from this regarding the future of digital news media?

1. Define my identity. I choose to read this newspapers to manifest who I am.

2. I Buy a newspaper that acts in the society in a way I want to support. I subscribe to back the paper and make it’s quest possible.

3. I use the content to reinforce my social status. I find stories that I can retell (and use as some sort of social currency) among others and thereby increase my social capital.

4. Read stories that update, challange and even change my view of the world. In this way I experience serendipity (everything from astonishing science news to the revealing of politicians misuse of public funds to funny stories about animals to stories about the use of mobile phones in Africa).

5. Be (or at least feel like being) a part of the society or/and a business community. I update myself on what issues important people in my community find important.

6. Really influence society/business community. The newspaper establishes a platform so that I can write an article or a letter to the editor. Or I can get the newspaper to write about something and make other people in the community aware of.

7. I get inspiration and may also review my plans after reading useful news. Can be weather, TV listings, stock listings, city guide, consumer tests and more. I get to know what’s happening in my local community.

8. Entertainment and pastime. Crosswords, sudoku, comics, fun page. Pastime reading on a Sunday morning.

9. I read a reliable newspaper to save time. No need to check further - if I don’t have a special interest in the topic.

Also published on Medium: “Nine reasons to pay for a newspaper”