EDITOR’S COLUMN: We’re reaching more people than ever – believe it or not – Detroit Lakes Tribune

As the publisher of three newspapers, the Detroit Lakes Tribune, the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal, it is frustrating to hear someone say that newspapers are dying, that nobody reads newspapers anymore or newspaper advertising doesn’t give you as much bang for your buck as you did in the good old days.

None of these things are true. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Melissa Swenson, publisher of the Detroit Lakes Tribune, Perham Focus and Wadena Pioneer Journal

The Detroit Lakes Tribune, in print twice a week and online 24/7 at dl-online.com, has more readers than ever in the paper’s history – including Detroit’s glory days Lakes Tribune, Becker County Record and Lake Zone Press. Dl-online.com reached 945,341 people in the United States in the past 12 months. Yes, you read this issue correctly. This equates to over 78,000 different people per month.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When you add the power of all of Forum Communications’ digital offerings, the number of people you want to reach is limitless. We are the leader in digital news delivery in the region.

We are also reaching more people, in more age groups than ever before. Google Analytics for dl-online.com shows that almost 20% of our readers are between 55 and 64 years old, just over 19% are between 35 and 44 years old, just under 19% are between 45 and 54 years old, just over 18% are aged 25-34, 14% are 65+, and 18-24 year olds make up just under 10% of our online readership. Our print readership leans toward the older demographic.

I have worked in the press for over 22 years. During this time, I have witnessed so many changes! I am so grateful to work for a company that realized these changes early on and started investing heavily in our digital platforms as well as our content. Forum Communications is on the cutting edge when it comes to providing timely news and information to its readers. Yet we struggle to connect old with new, print with digital, and drive home the importance of local journalism in our communities.

“The Detroit Lakes Tribune…has more readers than ever in the history of the paper.”

Melissa Swenson

It’s no secret that many newspapers have disappeared over the past 10 years. COVID has added more closures at an alarming rate. Most were small weekly newspapers, which is devastating for the communities that lost them.

In a recent article by the Poynter Institute, it was stated that when communities lose their local newspapers, they also lose transparency and accountability to their local governments. Research shows that taxes go up and voter turnout goes down. After all, who else attends your city council and school board meetings? Who digests this information and presents it in a clear way to keep the public informed?

The Detroit Lakes Tribune print newspapers now have a lower page count than they once did. We no longer have the space to include all the press releases sent to us. We strive to fill our news hole with content that matters and is relevant to our weekly print readers. But the good news in all of this is that we have unlimited space on dl-online.com, and since we have more online readers than print readers (many read both), the information is disseminated to the public. It’s just in a different way.

Whether you support us with your advertising dollars, buy a subscription, or buy a copy of the Tribune on newsstands, we are grateful to those of you who have supported us through this journey of change. . Your investment helps promote the Detroit Lakes community and surrounding area by supporting the work we do.

We thank you.