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A newspaper that is saving money without cutting jobs

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HoosierLoser, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. HoosierLoser

    HoosierLoser Member

    I did a quick search to see if this topic was previously covered, forgive me if it was, but I just didn't want to look through 17-plus search pages.

    Here's the big news: The Bakersfield Californian is cutting ties with the Associated Press. Because of our current contract with the AP, it won't take affect for two years but I'm just wondering if any other newspaper has taken this step to save money.

    Right before I left The Gaston (N.C) Gazette, they were talking about cutting KRT (now MCT) and some other smaller news services but not the AP.

    From what I've been told it's a savings of more than $340,000 a year. Some of savings will be used to hire 2 or 3 employees to scavenge the Web and produce wire copy.

    Has any other newspaper done this? The higher ups say it's becoming more and more common but I'm looking for names and circulation sizes of papers that have successfully taken this step.
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    The savings will not be used to hire any employees. That's the lie they always tell the staffers to make it sound like a better idea. The savings will go into Mr. Publisher's pocket.

    In the meantime, you get to work three times as hard, you get to run stories on utterly inconsequential local shit nobody in the world does or should care about, along with pathetic grip-and-grin photos, and any of your readers whose interests extend further than the border of the next school district will happily cancel their subscriptions.
  3. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    Here's a recent thread: http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/59990/
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Scavenge the Web and steal copy that other news organizations have spent money to produce? Do I understand this correctly? If not, please explain. They are going to ask employees to cut and paste and put it in the Bakersfield paper? I know this is not your decision, I just want to know if I'm reading this right.
  5. HoosierLoser

    HoosierLoser Member

    We went through two rounds of layoffs in past year but still no buyouts. I don't think the family-owed newspaper has they kind of cash for buyouts.

    We're still keeping NYTimes, MCT and the LAT-WP services so it's not like we're going all local.
  6. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    But what do you mean by "scavenge the Web and produce wire copy?"
  7. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, you understand this correctly. When papers do this, they throw scads of blank pages at the staff and say "fill it."

    Then after about 2 days, they get a burst of angry phone calls from readers pissed off that there is no (none, zip, nada) coverage whatsoever of the closest major league teams. They bitch, bitch and bitch some more.

    Mr. Publisher then calls in the sports editor and says, "Our readers say they want some coverage of major league sports. Figure out some way to do it."

    Sports Editor says, "but we have no wire services."

    Mr. Publisher, looking at the computer on his desk, surfs idly to Google, and then ESPN or Fox Sports, and pulls up the standings page. "You're a smart boy," he says. "Figure it out."
  8. HoosierLoser

    HoosierLoser Member

    Scavenge is used loosely. I don't know all the particulars. But I do know that thanks to recent court decision (CBC Distribution v. MLB) NFL, MLB, WNBA, NBA box scores are free public information.
  9. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    Who would I have to pay to exclude myself from getting free WNBA boxscores?
  10. HoosierLoser

    HoosierLoser Member

    Send your checks to: David Stern
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    You use MLB Gameday or a gametracker app and write a story off of that because the data is a fact not protected by copyright.

    Not an ideal solution for papers in need, but it is something.
  12. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    That is, excuse me, completely fucking disgusting for a paper the size of Bakersfield. To go scrounging around for freebies like a common blogger.
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