Rick Green, president and publisher of The Des Moines Register, gave the eighth annual Chamberlin Lecture on Sept. 16, titled, “Yes, Iowa, there is a Future for Newspapers.” Green’s lecture focused on his optimism for the future of the print industry.
Green shared his belief that, although the media world is constantly evolving, there will always be a place for physical newspapers, though the institutions will have to adapt.
“Change is a mandate,” Green said. “If you are in this school; if you are studying this business, or anything related to communications, be prepared…it’s non-negotiable.”
Green believes print newspapers will always serve a purpose and accommodate a specific audience in a way that no other media can.
“Do I see print going away any time soon?” Green asked aloud. “No, I don’t. I’ll be real honest with you. Print, I’m convinced, is a staple.”
Green observed that many news sources today care more about being the first to get information than they do about ensuring its accuracy or weighing its relevance. He emphasized that, above all else, getting factually accurate and significant content is what matters most in the news industry. At the heart of successful media operations is content, a statement he summed up in just three words: “content is king.”
Green reassured the audience that the journalism industry is alive and well and that if students have the ability to produce valuable content and passion for what they are doing, they will be able to find jobs upon graduating. He concluded his lecture by verbalizing its essence: “There is a future for newspapers, and it’s a bright one.”
“Civic engagement is essential to life in Iowa, life in the Midwest and life anywhere in the country,” said Green following his lecture. “Newspapers, I think, play an integral role in shaping and accelerating those conversations that are really important in democracy.”