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Fannin on the dotcom pillage

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pulitzer Wannabe, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. http://apse.dallasnews.com/2007/oct2007/101007fannin.html

    Wright Thompson, quoted in the piece, is absolutely dead-on about how far behind newspapers are in online operations. It's a joke. When I see how fast even sites like Rivals and Scout get information up, then compare it to how we do it in our industry, I'm embarrassed. We're resting on our laurels and our brand names. We're kidding ourselves. I think the biggest problem is that newspapers are now essentially trying to run two publications - the online publication and the newspaper - with less people than they used to have to just put out the print edition. Staffs should be double. Instead, they've been halved. Insane.
  2. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    fannin is spot on, as to be expected. he may be the absolute best in the biz
  3. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    Good point.

    When a staff is reduced or reshuffled with buyouts, and management intones "Do more with less" or "Work smarter, not harder," then everything suffers.

    The AJC and WaPo reorgs may be the way of the future.
  4. Thanks. I just don't know when managers are going to realize that you can't just half-ass the online product. It's not just a dumping ground for the print stories. It's a medium unique from print, and it requires the same care and attention to detail to make it successful. They need to quit treating it like an afterthought.
  5. Spartakate

    Spartakate New Member

    So true! But I think the main problem is a revenue stream. How is it going to make money? If we can answer that question definitively then we can save the industry.
  6. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    That's a great line.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Well, isn't that the $4 billion-a-year question. The revenue isn't and won't be there. The pie has been sliced too many times.
  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    You don't think there's any way to make any money off the Internet? At all? Why not? It seems like as long as there is a demand -- and make no mistake, there is a demand for content -- there should be a way to make money off it.
  9. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I've done this dance many times on this board.
    The revenue streams newspapers are accustomed to are gone. Gobbled up by other entities. Classifieds -- know as free money for years -- are gone to Craigslist and EBay. Auto dealerships have so many more options. AutoTrader. EBay. AutoMax and AutoNation.
    The movie industy, long a staple in big cities, buy only quid pro quo advertising anymore. Their focus the last three years has been television and internet synergy advertising.
    To think a 100k circulation paper will compete and succeed with those entities is head-in-the-ground, wishful thinking.
    And, as "The WalMart Effect" devours local retailers -- traditionally a strong local advertising group -- the median of the industry is left with crumbs. It cripples the print side. And the internet-side growth isn't fast enough.
    Without the revenue, we fail not once, but twice.
  10. Then we shouldn't have Web sites. Not until we can do it without embarrassing ourselves.

    Yes, I'm exaggerating. But slightly.
  11. daemon

    daemon Well-Known Member

    You summed it up perfectly there.

    So we need to find new ways to attack advertising. Problem is, most papers have the wrong people in charge, people without a fresh idea in their brains. Old-school newspaper people.

    There are flaws with places like Craig's List and CareerBuilder, flaws that newspapers can leap on.

    One of the chief ones: because they are free, they've become so overloaded with crap that, at times, it makes them useless.

    Is there an advertising market out there for employers who wouldn't mind shelling out a little extra cash in order to have their job postings distinguished from the mayhem that is CareerBuilder?

    I don't know.

    The problem is, the people we have in charge don't either.
  12. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    This isn't the answer, either. Some revenue is better than none.
    Let's not make the slippery slope a downward spiral.
    Without your website, there would be fewer of you in your newsrooms.
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