Saturday, June 03, 2006


The idea of this blog is to provide a place for print journalists working for small town dailies and weeklies to discuss the state of our corner of the industry, talk about problems we are facing in newsrooms, and offer solutions.

Frankly, I get tired to hearing pundits jabber about media trends and seldom, if ever, consider the backbone of the nation's press: the smaller market publications that are providing necessary community news people aren't getting elsewhere.

The fact of the matter is that more and more dailies try to compete against the Internet, magazines, television for readers they do so, in part, by cutting news resources for local coverage.

They type of community news the dailies use to cover has been greatly diminished. Weeklies have taken up the slack and in many markets are doing well because of the focus of their content.

But things could be better. What do you say?


At 8:28 AM, Blogger Josh Shear said...

Those newspapers that best use the internet are those that provide complementary coverage. I do think it's important that all local stories get pushed onto the web, but the web page can't only be a reflection of the newspaper; people will either only read the newspaper or only read the web site.

For example, TV listings, syndicated comics, and some syndicated material (not AP, UPI or Reuters) should be available only in the newspaper, while the web can be utilized for things like breaking news (there's no need for people to wait a day or a week for their news if a shorter version of the article is ready today), blogs, interactive forums, and calendar listings.

Calendar listings may be especially important for some web sites, actually; there's limited space in the newspaper, but a web page is both bottomless and searchable.

The other challenge, especially for smaller newspapers, is to dedicate ad reps to the web page. The web and the newspaper are very different monsters, and success in selling print does not translate into success in selling the web -- especially since stat tracking isn't standardized and independent auditors (the sort that are the web version of Nielson or Arbitron ratings) only tend to track the biggest sites.

Having an entirely separate ad unit to sell the web page – including working with print reps to migrate print ads – is important to the success of an organization's web site.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Sachem Head said...

Mr. Dobbs, interesting blog idea. I'll be reading.


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