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Newspaper readers are smarter, sexier

Hey you! Yes, you, Mr. or Ms. Reader. In case you were wondering this Sunday morning, you look marvelous, absolutely marvelous, as comedian Billy Crystal’s character “Fernando” would say back in the 1980s.

You look smart, and you look sexy. And it doesn’t have anything to do with your God-given looks. It’s because of something you’re doing right now.

You’re smart and sexy because you’ve joined more than 163 million American adults who read a newspaper each week.

“Smart is the New Sexy” is the title of a new marketing campaign created for the Newspaper Association of America.

You may have noticed ads for the campaign appearing in The Democrat’s print and online editions lately.

As the campaign’s creators — The Martin Agency from Richmond, Va., — wrote, the theory is fairly simple:

News isn’t really news anymore. In fact, news has become something else entirely.

Talking heads pass as news.

Sound bites pass as news.

Opinions pass as news.

Snazzy graphics pass as news.

It’s time to make a stand for the one place you can still get “news news.”

The kind with substance.

The kind that makes you feel smarter when you finish reading it.

The kind that makes you a more interesting person to talk to, a savvier shopper, a more engaged citizen.

That’s the kind of news we’re talking about.

The kind that’s written for people who want more than just a headline.

The kind you can only find in newspapers — print or digital.

The Newspaper. Get it.

Because Smart is the New Sexy.

In the past couple of years, many businesses including newspapers have been beaten up in the rarely accurate court of public opinion. Critics — mostly from other forms of media — will suggest newspapers are dead.

However, the facts, the smart, sexy unbiased facts are clear — newspapers are still very much alive and still very much relevant.

The fact is that most newspapers reach larger audiences than ever before. Far from being a deathblow, the emergence of digital media merely allows newspapers to reach a more broad audience than ever before.

Statistically, newspaper readers are smarter than non-readers. And in a world in which many people have opinions, but few people focus on the facts, the more educated you are, the smarter and the sexier you are, too.

Given that logic, we have a ton of smart, sexy people in our community.

An independent media consumption survey of citizens in the Natchez and Vidalia area conducted earlier this year proved this.

In the survey of randomly selected residents, more than eight out of 10 reported they read The Democrat’s print edition in the previous week and more than four out of 10 read the online edition.

The survey results also show how useful consumers find newspaper advertising. More than half of the entire community said they made a purchase based on advertising they had seen in The Democrat during the past month. That’s more than twice the results of the nearest competing media surveyed.

The power of newspapers is as strong as ever. Smart readers have always known that, even before the latest marketing slogan. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you think The Democrat makes you smart and sexy. Please drop me a line and share your thoughts.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.