We are adding another year under our belt. At 29, we can say we have gone through a lot.
The year before, in particular, was an interesting time. Through it all, we have stayed the course and never once lost sight of our vision to produce a good newspaper for our loyal readers and supporters. The highs and lows that chronicle our past have in fact made us more conscious of our reason for being and, for good measure, helped us be still positive about the future fraught with uncertainties and challenges.
The newspaper business is undergoing transformation at breathtaking pace. In just over a decade, the internet has changed, and dramatically, the news and information landscape. Not only has it cut down barriers; it has also given unbridled freedom to netizens on how and when to source and use data. This brought about the profusion of new technology devices to piggyback on the exponential growth of the web market and the introduction of innovative ways to monetize the many facets of digital media.
The situation has weighed heavily on legacy newspapers already saddled by high cost of printing and declining readership and revenue. Their traditional pull is no match to the aggressive digital magnet. Yet ironically, it is the shrinking part of newspaper—print—that continues to foot the bill to this day, while its much-vaunted growth side—digital—contributes a puny portion to the total revenue pie. This paradox has not been lost on many in the industry, causing them to take a pause to figure out how to proceed at this stage of digital transition.
It is against this backdrop that The Standard marks its 29th anniversary. It stands at a crucial crossroad where hard choices must be made: mainly, on what form the paper should best evolve to be relevant in this wired world. Whatever it is, it will be an entirely different specie from the traditional newspaper business ñ information portals, social media. But what is clear to us this early is that the evolving model will have to incorporate the values of professional journalism in the newsroom, all the more reason amid the frenzy of citizen journalism online. As one study aptly puts it, “although daily journalism may be losing its economic foundation, it has not lost its justification.”
And so at 29, The Standard continues to find ways to innovate and to set itself apart in the local industry setting dominated by mediocrity and banality. Last year we made the bold move to shift from a broadsheet to its current tallboy format and plunged into digital domain with an eye for integrated operations in online and offline. As in any life-changing event, not everything is achieved overnight. Admittedly, our goals are still a work in progress. Then again, our ability to bring them to fruition is only limited by our own resolve to succeed in the Digital Age.
ROLANDO G. ESTABILLO