More readers are trading newspapers for web sites per a recent article in the New York Times.

The circulation declines of American newspapers continued over the spring and summer, as sales across the industry fell almost 3 percent compared with the year before, according to figures released yesterday.

The drop, reported by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, reflects the growing shift of readers to the Internet, where newspaper readership has climbed, and also a strategy by many major papers to shed unprofitable or marginally profitable print circulation.

On of the ways lawyers enhance their reputation as an authority is being quoted in newspapers on relevant stories. Getting quoted has not been easy though. Usually took a little luck and in many cases, some PR folks with a nice rolodex of reporter contacts.

But online newspapers open more doors for lawyers to showcase their expertise.

  • Local newspapers often allow comments to stories, offering an opportunity for you as a lawyer to add your take just as if the reporter had called you for a quote.
  • Virtually all newspapers have blogs. Leave a comment, with your name, email and blog’s url. Readers click on links to commentors blogs.
  • Newspapers are looking for citizen bloggers, other than their reporters. I’ve seen more than once a blog run by a lawyer on a consumer or small business law topic. Approach your newspaper with the idea. Show them your blog as evidence of your abilities.
  • Quote online newspapers in your own blog adding your own take. Email the reporter a link to the post letting them know you shared the story with your readers and you’d be happy to be a resource for similar stories as you regularly publish on the topic at your blog.
  • In time, newspapers are going to become information centers incorporating blog feeds from local citizens. Getting known by the paper now gives you a leg up that your blog feeds will be included.

No question there is a disintermediation of PR professionals and reporters going on. Not taking advantage of it is your loss.