The price of paper is up, the stocks of newspaper holding companies are down.
The saying”All the News that is fit to Print” has become an anachronism. It reflects a time when newsprint was a marginal cost, not a debilitating one. It reflects a time when the newspaper was a unique source of news, not the last source after the internet, TV and radio.
IMHO, todays newspapers better give me information that is unique. Things that I havent read four stories about online, or figured out from the Sportscenter highlights or seen scroll 463 times an hour across the bottom of a cable news feed.
If a newspaper is going to covera story that has already been reported, then they should leverage their medium and give it some depth Its a whole lot easier to read an extended report or story in a newspaper, coffee or soda in hand, kicking back in a favorite chair, than it is on a PDA, laptop or PC. IF, you have given me a reason to read you and not what i find in my goowy.com RSS newsreader
What led me to this post was a small story in the NY Times. It wasnt more than 50 words.
Now I dont know how much 50 words costs in newsprint across a million papers that were distributed. Imguessing its more than a dollar.
Im also guessing that there were other stories in the paper that could have benefited from those 50 words. A reporter who could have added a 2nd point or opposing opinion to make an article fair. An editor who wouldnt have to tell a reporter that his story was getting cut because there wasnt enough room. Who knows, maybe those 50 words could have earned some lucky writer a Pulitzer.
What was the story ?
It was a story about Charles shackleford.
If you have to ask, you have made my point.
The NYTimes wasnt the only paper to carry this story. The stupidity crosses the industry. Why in the world would they cover anything that happens to this person as news ?
Newspapers have a product that has the ability to be differentiated.
Digital media is about realtime first: find it, report it. Digital media is looking to social networks to assist in publishing news and information. Digital media isnt conducive to long, extended articles. Where digital media is mobile, its small and hard to read. Where its easy to read on a big screen, its stationary in a home or office.
The newspaper offers mobility, ease of reading and the opportunity for depth of coverage. I dont have any research, but im willing to bet that more people will read a 3 page or longer story in a newspaper far moreoften than they willonline. When we encounter multi-page stories online, weprepare ourselves to avoid an onslaught of ads, popups and intrusions. When we encounter a multiplage story in the newspaper, we have been conditioned to getcomfortable, grab a cup of cofee or soda ,and focus ourattention.
If the newspaper industry doesnt recognize these differences, then they are going to find themselves falling further and further out of the continuous infostream that we all are becoming increasingly addicted to every day.
Charles Shackleford ? What a joke.