Consumers like coupons, but they’re not clipping them like they used to. Instead, they are downloading them. A new report just issued says that digital couponing increased by 41 percent in 2010. Digital coupons outpaced the growth of newspaper coupons by 6 to 1. There are more than 49 million Americans who use digital coupons, and of those, almost one-third have not read or looked into the Sunday newspaper for coupons in the past six months.
So is it smart phone or smartphone? Ereader or e-reader? And can you use “friend” as a verb now? The AP Stylebook has the answers in its new revision, which now includes guidelines for references to social media.
Free, or paywall, or some creative hybrid? That’s the dilemma all Texas newspapers are looking at. And one of the most frequent requests we get at the Center is for information to help publishers think through their options. And there’s certainly no lack of articles on this topic, and we’ve recommended a number of them. Here’s a good one from one of our favorite blogs, Allen Mutter’s Reflections of a Newsosaur. Mutter starts out with the one undeniable reality — readers don’t like paywalls and they look elsewhere when a newspaper puts one up. Mutter goes on to talk about three different approaches to paywalls now being tried: metered sites, hybrid sites, and one you probably haven’t heard of — dueling sites. It’s a good overview that should help focus your thinking as you discuss the paywall issue in your newsroom.
Kate Galbraith, who is one of our speakers at next week’s one-day workshop on reporting on electrical energy, continues to give us a master class on the possibilities of the energy beat with her reporting in the Texas Tribune. Check out her piece, for example, on whether the blackouts will cause higher electric rates. Or her “Texplainer” story on why Texas has its own power grid. Or her stories on wind-generated energy in the state. If you follow Kate’s reporting you’ll get lots of ideas for stories that can be localized for your paper. We still also have fewer than five places open for the energy reporting workshop on Feb. 17. To register for this free workshop in Austin, June 2022