Every day is our Super Bowl Sunday

Published 12:22am Sunday, February 5, 2012

Today one single thing will be on the minds of millions of Americans — the big game.

Super Bowl XLVI (46) will kick off this evening, and will almost certainly see three types of viewers — Giants fans, Patriots fans and advertising fans.

Super Bowl ads have become nearly as popular as the game itself, maybe more popular.

This year’s Super Bowl viewership is projected to be approximately 117 million viewers. That’s a bunch of folks watching, but it may surprise you that isn’t all that special, proportionally anyway. That number is approximately half of the number of adults in the U.S., according to the Census.

So on the biggest day of the year, the biggest TV audience can muster approximately half of the country’s attention.

Did you know this newspaper reaches more than 80 percent of the local population — in print and online each week?

Proportionally, that means it’s Super Bowl Sunday for our advertisers every week.

Nationally, in 2011, approximately 69 percent of U.S. adults reported reading a newspaper in print or online each week. You’re probably tempted to say I’ve lost my mind or I’m simply trying to make myself feel better.

Newspapers are all dying, right? That may be the perception some people have — and large city newspapers have suffered greatly — but the reality is that despite reduced numbers of print readers over the last several decades, many newspapers —including ours — reach more folks than ever.

Today, it just reaches them in different ways. Two decades ago, we only had a printed product. We still have the printed product, but we also have the dominant news website in the region, too.

Last month, more than two million pages were viewed on natchezdemocrat.com. That’s pretty staggering when you think about it.

But did you know we also printed 4.1 million pages in the print edition?

Those numbers show newspapers are still depended upon each day, despite the rise of social media, text messages and dozens of other technological wonders that allow people to pass information to one another.

We pass information, too, but we do much more as well.

We create journalism. The difference is simple.

Information is that the city is going to have a meeting on Thursday.

Journalism tells you the meeting is about proposed changes to a casino development plan, provides you with the context of what’s going on and even lets you read the documents yourself if you’d like. Newspapers also provide residents with a way to speak out on such issues, too. That’s critically important.

Information is communicating that Adams County leaders said they would reduce the county’s cell phone bill.

Journalism is digging through a year of bills and showing public abuses of those taxpayer-provided phones.

Facebook and Twitter might make us feel good or even keep people from being bored, but journalism keeps our community informed, educated and aware.

Even other local media agrees. Last July, during a local radio station’s interview with a political candidate, the interviewer referenced an article we’d published and sort of caught herself bragging on us.

“We all get The Natchez Democrat, most of us, let’s say most of us get The Natchez Democrat.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

All the Super Bowl ad hype will end in a day or two and when it does, we’ll keep providing journalism for our community.


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