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Does this publisher get it?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, May 7, 2007.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Stumbled across this, found it fascinating.
    The publisher of the Little Rock paper just unloaded
    The full article is here

    Also has an interesting comparison between the publisher's paper and the Columbus Dispatch. Both charge for online subscriptions, then Columbus went to a free site. Columbus saw a six-percent circulation decline, Little Rock continued to charge and lost .1 percent in circulation over the same timespan.
  2. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    He makes a good point. However, the problem is a lot of publishers and people in management don't believe in their own newspapers. They seem to accept they are going to be wiped out by the Internet, and figure they can put their stuff on the internet.

    Only here is the problem. If I do a blog on an NHL team, I have a hard time competing with a newspaper which has a huge circulation simply because of the numbers. It's similar to the fact that somebody from a 25,000-circulation suburban daily would have a hard time competing with somebody from a 125K circulation metro daily, only worse for the blogger.

    However, on the internet, a blogger can compete with a newspaper blogger. It's a different ball game, and people who run the newspapers don't understand this.
  3. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    but in sports if the newspaper blogger has access to the clubhouse and can interview players, his blog should win every time. bloggers will tell you access is overrated but that's an assinine argument. there are probably 100 or more so-called pajama bloggers for every major league team in most sports. some are terrific even without access. but there are only 3-5 blogs for every team in which the blogger has access. that's what newspapers should be touting.
  4. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    This guy is looking at it like a bean counter. No vision or innovation whatsoever. So the answer is to charge for your web edition, and/or force people to purchase the dead tree edition.

    This is a losing proposition on both accounts. He is just trying to hold on to a business model that was once ridiculously profitable, but is getting less so.

    The industry needs new business people who know how to make money different ways.

    If you go free there will undoubtedley be people who stop buying it on the news stand. I am not arguing this. But by going free, you are capturing readers, especially young ones, who would never leave their home to a buy a paper.

    By going free, you help market your newspaper and soon build a following. This is HOW YOU CAPTURE NEW READERSHIP.

    If you aren't going to a free website, unless you are a niche market such as the Wall Street Journal, you are going to be destroyed by the free outlets who will eventully gobble up that new market share.

    Too many publishers are trying to sustain hard edition circulation numbers. They are programmed to do this, and lack vision and an understanding in how to create revenue through the web.

    What do you think is going to happen in 10 years when computers and the internet are even more prevelant. Technology is going to overwhelm the hard edition of the paper, if it hasn't done so already. The worst is yet to come.
  5. cake in the rain

    cake in the rain Active Member

    One of my old papers had exactly the same attitude. They went to a pay-Internet model in 2002. It worked in the sense that it stemmed some of the print circulation declines by getting rid of the "freeloaders." But it made the paper less relevant locally and regionally.

    My sports colleagues didn't know what I was writing. If I had a scoop, no one knew or cared. Our statehouse coverage lost much of its influence, since only 25,000 people in our town had access to the content. And frankly, I think our national reputation, such as it was, suffered as well.

    I thought the attitude was sort of parochial. And futile, because the trends pushing in the other direction are only getting stronger.
  6. Once again bloggers attempt to blur between blogging and reporting. The reason bloggers are blogging in their pajamas is because they don't get access. Reporters do. Teams know they have the oversight of editors and professoinal associations. Their blogs are complementary to their primary responsbility, which is covering the goddamn team. Great, you can write six witty inches infused with a little opinion for a Web site you run out of your living room. But that doesn't make you a reporter. And it never will.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I made pretty much the same point about the AP content last month on this thread:


    So I agree with this guy.
  8. zman82

    zman82 Member

    i agree as well.
    consider that during a recent training session I asked my instructor if she subscribed to our local 10K paper or the big bad 100K metro. she said there was no need to subscribe to get the local content when she could read it for free on the web. she still got the metro because it had what she wanted (Sunday coupons, nice life section, comics, etc.) and a better selection than what we could offer in print.
  9. Satchel Pooch

    Satchel Pooch Member

    What about opening up the paid wall once or twice a week?
  10. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    No. He's the opposite of getting it. He's Georgie Amberson Minifer laughing at those newfangled horseless carriages, while his old, empty mansion slowly crumbles.
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