By Domenica A. Leone 

Tom Chester, Managing Editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel, spoke to the members of the Media Management Association (MMA) at the University of Miami on February 25 about the future of the newspaper industry.

Chester pointed out that the traditional newspaper has now evolved as an all-day medium, accessible through four platforms (mobile, web site, tablet, and print).  He added that print journalists must not only be able to report and write stories, but also to shoot pictures or video and use social media.  Chester also discussed the concept of mobile journalism, whereby a reporter would go into the field with a simple smartphone and laptop to gather information and produce multimedia stories.

On the financial front, Chester acknowledged that newspaper circulation (and print advertising) continues to decline, but expressed the hope to stabilize revenue by relying on a premium subscription program to gain and retain subscribers.  This model would change the traditional 70% (advertising)/30% (circulation) revenue split to 50%/50%.  Newspaper subscribers would pay an additional fee at renewal time to access all digital platforms.

This presentation attracted the largest audience ever in the history of the MMA.