10 Things Newspapers should do to connect with Gen X

The presentations, style, content of newspapers have changed over the years. During my childhood, my parents used to read the newspaper, while we used to solve Sudoku or flip through the sports or movie pages. Reading newspaper in the morning with a steaming hot cup of tea was a common phenomenon in every house. Its absence was strongly felt when it wasn’t found lying on the garden or balcony. While flipping the colorful pages of a newspaper, we used to travel to a completely different world.

However, as times have changed, so has the tradition. Although our elder generations are still addicted to newspaper, our younger ones now depend on “Apps” and “Social Networking Sites” to get hold of every minute details on each and every happening of the world. It’s the digital age of Tweets, Updates, Share and Likes.

Considering the current scenario, in this digital age, Newspapers need to reinvent and renovate themselves not only to give a good competition to other media but also try to appease the younger generation more. So, here are my thoughts that could add some value to newspapers:

  1. More news less ads

One of the most significant reasons newspapers today is criticized because of more print space to ads and less to news. Being the major source of revenue, advertisers are important to newspaper. But then what’s the whole point of newspaper, if there is LESS news and MORE PAPER. Force the readers to return to the traditional medium by providing them news.

      2. National platform in PRINT

The younger lot is much smarter today, so it’s time to play smartly. Besides news, newspapers should also focus on interesting areas of young readers like, Tech update, Music, Fashion review, Interesting blogs, in addition to what’s hot and trending in social media and other networking sites. The idea is to connect with the youth by providing them a national platform in print media, to share their thoughts as well as give them something new to explore.

3. Rising Cost of newspapers

In the age of consumerism, cost is another big factor. Although, Newspapers charge a penny, for the authentic content and worthiness they provide, the constant rise in the price may become a barrier to reach its target group. For eg: The present cost of, ‘The Hindu’ is Rs.8, so in a month it costs upto 240 Rs.(30 X 8 =240) In the same cost, a guy can buy an internet pack of 1 GB for one full month, by which he can, not only be updated with news but can be present in the digital space through various social networking sites.

4. Shorter stories

No one is willing to go through a lengthy article in this fast paced world. Everyone is on the run. Stories need to be short, precise written in crisp language. It is the age of 140 characters. For eg. Yep me Fashion portal, brought the hashcopy, (hashtag+copy) ie. #FreshFashion, which signified its freshness in fashion along with digital soundness.

5. Timeliness

The time is running really fast, thus the Newspapers need to maintain their relevance. Newspapers could even come up with evening version, to have an updated target audience.

6. The feel of a paper rather than a screen.

The feel and smell of fresh newspaper is something whose significance cannot be replaced by a digital screen. However user friendly or popular an app is, it cannot replace the aura of a newspaper. To leverage this, newspapers can give their pages a scented smell, to have a unique brand building.

7. Merchandising

Merchandising of T-shirts with Newspapers brand name or headline of particular date written on the front or back, or any iconic picture taken can be used. Moreover coffee mugs can also be used.

8. Customer service

There is a boom in the customer service industry. Today, not only telecom, Electronic, IT companies and every big brand have a customer service department, where customers can file a complaint or ask for any help. Its high time newspapers need to do that to expand its reach.

9. “To be continued” series

Interesting write ups in fiction, non-fiction genre, can attract eyes, in the form of “To Be Continued” series, by the youth. It could be about various topics like travel experiences, cooking, photography lessons, music etc.

10. Interactive FB , Twitter pages

Enter the digital space and have an interactive FB, Twitter pages including others to connect to the youth. 



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