Print newspapers moving their content to online is old news. But, for The Budget, an Amish newspaper located in Ohio, the idea is, well, confusing. The publication is the largest Amish publication and reaches almost 20,000 readers within the U.S. and Canada. Despite controversy and strikes, The Budget went online the last week of September. I categorize this event as the ultimate oxymoron.
The print newspaper was hardly affected by the recession. Therefore, the Amish going digital may seem unnecessary with print subscriptions that cost only $42 per year and most of the publication’s advertisers being Amish. The 843 scribes that handwrite the newspaper also felt that because of this shift, they would lose their readers and be mocked online.
The Budget is not only the oldest, but it is also the largest Amish publication. The USA Today reported that The Budget “was born in 1890 as a series of letters swapped among Amish families who had dispersed across the Midwest.” Is this the start of the ultimate cave-in for the Amish to go high-tech? With their most renowned publication leading the transition, I think this just may be their first step in going modern.
Their website is broken up into different sections including: local news, events, school and of course, church, is easy to navigate and not overdone. The publication owners believe that archiving will be much easier and articles will be able to be accessed quicker thanks to their website.
Check out Jessica Best, the publication’s intern during the digital upgrade, on her blog where she wrote about The Budget’s move to online.
The publication is sticking to their guns on some views. They are not accepting ads for anything they consider “taboo,” such as drugs and alcohol, but are surprisingly covering some local sports. There’s no doubt that Amish readership will definitely expand as a result of The Budget going online. Bottom line: you haven’t read Amish news like this before.
What does this switch to online say about print media and online news? Will the Amish ditch their horse-drawn buggies next?