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Most Publishers are Dinosaurs (and the Sun Rises in the East Everyday)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LanceyHoward, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    But Gatehouse and those others aren't dinosaurs only paying any attention to the print side, either. As I've said, the fiscal bottom line is the No. 1 priority. But the only thing they put any effort at all into is digital. Do they invest dollars? No. But they've put more effort into that than they have print.

    The CEOs at those companies aren't dinosaurs who live in the print world, as the name of this thread implies. They're corporate raiders and venture capitalists who milk these companies for every last cent they can get, cutting people and selling assets until they dump the crippled newspapers off at a later date. Sure, a lot of what they say about digital is lip service, but at least they pay lip service to that side. They absolutely ignore print. It's the albatross that pays the bills.

    But these investors and CEOs aren't dinosaurs. They are sophisticated in what they do, taking advantage of modern laws and loopholes to make whatever money they can, especially through the acquisition and sale of the real estate that often comes with acquiring a paper or chain. They aren't dinosaurs. They're vultures.
  2. daemon

    daemon Well-Known Member

    Paying attention isn't enough. You can hire as many consultants as you want -- no newspaper company is going to get to where they need to be without investing significant overhead in their long-neglected digital infrastructure. Doesn't matter how many meetings you have -- you aren't going to be able to talk pages into loading faster. You need to invest dollars.
    wicked likes this.
  3. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    Of course there needs to be real investment. But the problem isn't that the publishers are dinosaurs and don't know that. If folks on this thread know it, they do, too. The problem is that the corporate executives are vultures and don't care.

    That's where the issue with this thread lies. The premise pretends the industry is falling apart because publishers are dinosaurs and don't know they need to make an investment in digital to succeed. That's a false premise. Companies like Gannet and Gatehouse aren't putting money toward anything and are just milking out what profits they can in the cheapest, quickest way possible. Some chains have put the focus on digital, but they aren't backing it up with investment because there's no quick return on those dollars.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    There was a study around 2000 that indicated that the quality of a paper didn't make a difference whether people read it or not. They either read the paper or they didn't. I imagine the same is true for a digital product.
  5. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    I disagree with that when it comes to digital. Quality to me includes issues such as load time. If the ink on your printed product was so bad that you had to reread every story twice to make out every character, that’s essentially the same thing. In both cases the reader gets annoyed and gives up.

    I think the Post has forged a way forward and more importantly its tech, some of it which IIRC was in the works pre-Bezos, could really make a difference for some putrid websites. Arc isn’t the savior but it at least seems logical and easy enough to use in my brief experiences.
  6. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    I don't know. The front page of the Times website is so cluttered I usually skip it and head towards the individual departments, which also aren't wonderfully designed.

    I still throw over my super-costly $15 every month. The journalism is so good - on average - that it doesn't bother me.
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