Xpress launches new media series

The way we digest news in Western North Carolina has changed dramatically since Asheville’s first newspaper, the Highland Messenger, began publishing around 1840. Today, most of us no longer walk to the door, pick up the paper and sit down to eat with our favorite sections sprawled across the breakfast table. And even those who still do may also be checking Twitter, following hashtags and using apps.

These changes, of course, aren’t limited to the North Carolina mountains. In an October study by the Pew Research Center, only 38 percent of respondents said they regularly read a daily newspaper — down from 54 percent in 2004. Meanwhile, the study noted, digital readership is up: 55 percent of regular New York Times readers now enjoy their paper on a computer or mobile device.

But is this merely a shift in delivery systems, or are there more fundamental changes afoot? What new business models will local publishers, editors and producers experiment with? How does this rapidly evolving media landscape affect our community as a whole, and individual residents’ ability to access the information they need?

Does the dismantling of traditional barriers require consumers to play a more active role in assessing the news they receive? And how do educators teach journalism or even basic media literacy when there’s no textbook for the warp-speed shifts continually sweeping the industry?

Our new “Media Matters” series will explore these questions and more because, at Mountain Xpress, we firmly believe that local matters — and, consequently, local media matters.

Send your media-related news and tips to cbyrd@mountainx.com.

— — Caitlin Byrd

In this week’s edition of Xpress, staff reporter Jake Frankel conducted an exit interview with “Local Edge Radio” host, Blake Butler.


Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

11 thoughts on “Xpress launches new media series

  1. RadMan

    Welcome to the 21st century! You’re only 13 years late…
    Look forward to whatever may come of this new series.

    • Caitlin Byrd

      We’re hoping to make up for all that lost time. If you’ve got any ideas or topics you’d like us to explore feel free to send them to me at cbyrd@mountainx.com.

  2. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Well, your hopes for “citizen journalism” did not work. So, what do you predict for the next reincarnation of MtnX, if there is to be one?

    • Margaret Williams

      Since I wasn’t directly involved in some earlier projects that you may be referring to, I can only speak for myself, Ms. Wallace, and I have more questions than answers.

      How would you describe/define “citizen journalism”? What is “journalism,” for that matter? What’s our relationship to it? (either as journalists or as citizens… or both)

      Asheville has many active and engaged citizens, like yourself, who represent a lively mix of viewpoints.

      Also, Xpress has a dedicated news team that’s trying to explore the issues and topics

  3. ChristopherCNC

    You will live or die based on the content you deliver. It should be apparent to you by now that the delivery platforms are not stable. Content must be your first priority. Only that will build a faithful audience for your product. The delivery system only makes the content easy or more difficult to access.

  4. D. Dial

    MtnEXp turned it’s back on it’s many loyal contributors and ignored the many suggestions made to help make corrections. I seriously doubt most of those snubbed contributors will return for yet another future snub.

    • Margaret Williams

      If you’re referring to the input we received about our website redesign and commenting system a while back, I haven’t forgotten. However, I do personally hope that in 2013, the mountainx site gets a do-over, and I suspect I’m not alone in that wish.

  5. JHamm

    I get most of my news content thru Apps for my tablet and phone, and I think it would be great to see an Xpress app in the future.

  6. Betty Cloer Wallace

    In response to your query, Margaret Williams, MtnX News Editor, I am a doctoral graduate of the University of Georgia (why did you research and question that tidbit?), but I am not a sports fan of any educational institution, nor do I believe that sports is a valid barometer or excuse for anything having to do with much of anything having to do with news media credibility.

    MtnX (Jeff) defined “citizen journalism” as he embraced it several years ago. I defer to the MtnX and Jeff’s definition. It is to that definition that so many of us tried to respond but found no satisfactory reciprocity.

  7. D. Dial

    What kind of “journalism” is Mountain Express projecting to the community, when commentary is edited by Mountain Express so as to make a cohesive understanding of members of the publics comments come across as confusing, garbled, or incoherent? We should all have such “power.”

  8. Margaret Williams

    D. Dial, do you have a specific commentary that you’re referring to? In our Opinion section, any edits of published commentary are coordinated with the writer, so I’m not sure what you’re referencing.

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