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On your site or in your paper?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    We did this thread in the early days of the board and it led to some interesting debate about breaking news.
    I was heavily on the side of waiting for the paper if at all possible then.
    Get it up online ASAP.

    Is there anyone who disagrees? Why? Have others flopped as big as I have here?
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Online. Be out in front as soon and as quickly as possible, even if you get tied with the competition in print.
  3. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    Bigger stories that TV or radio gets at the same time go directly on the Internet. Other stuff, we hold since we usually kick the shit out of TV and radio on just about everything. When there's a press release or press conference to announce something, people are pretty good about tipping us off the night before. (If they know what's good for them!)
  4. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    if i have a good feeling i can get it in print first, i do it in print. if i know i'm going to be first, but someone else is going to get wind of it -- or if it'll be old by the time the paper comes out (well, actually when our stories are put online), it goes online like that.
  5. BillySixty

    BillySixty Member

    Gotta be online. The only exception would be a big investigative story that revealed something major that requires a lengthy story.

    For those of us that work for newspapers, right now we work at newspapers with a Web site. In a matter of years, we will all work at Web sites with a newspaper.

    I'm an SE of a small daily, and I'm about three months away from posting everything online as soon as it goes through the chain.
  6. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Breaking news, I can see your point. But there's a line to be drawn here, and we, among others, have to recognize it.

    You CAN'T dump your entire nightly output on the Web at midnight, five hours before the newspaper hits the doorstep. That's just plain silly. And yet, more and more newspapers are doing it.

    And in the same vein, don't put the entire story up there; just enough to get the news across, and then make them get the newspaper for the full story. We're not in the business of seeing how many Nexis entries we can get for our paper.

    Ever hear of people not buying the cow if they're getting the milk for free? THAT'S going to spell doom for newspapers quicker than many of these other things we wring our hands about.

    And until somebody shows me that they can sustain ad revenue through their Web site (remember that?), the jury remains out.
  7. Ledbetter

    Ledbetter Active Member

    My thoughts exactly.

    My paper puts a few paragraphs of breaking news on our site, but you got to read the paper (or wait until the next morning when the site is updated) to get all the details.
  8. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Thought this was another UFC thread . . . . . . . .

    Breaking news needs to get online immediately. In-depth stuff comes in the paper . . and online, because there's frankly more space there anyway.
  9. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Well, again, I hope you get your four cents per clickable ad on that Web site...
  10. schrdp2002

    schrdp2002 Member

    Write a short brief for the web with no quotes or anything too detailed and then write a more detailed piece for the paper...
  11. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    I understand that, but I don't think gutting the Web is the answer to continued survival. I do think newspapers missed their chance to adjust years ago, since ads do not bring in that much revenue unless you're one of the big guns. And now it's all been free for so long a change would have to be industry-wide as far as charging to read the newspaper on the Web.

    The Web, due to its space, is a place where we can get the most in-depth stuff to our readers. How often does a big piece have a note that says "for more, including facts and figures and documents, see our Web site"? More and more often.
  12. greenthumb

    greenthumb Member

    Like it or not, you don't work for 'just' a newspaper anymore. You work for a media company ... a 24-hour media company that needs you to analyze your story and help determine the best and most effective place to move the news.

    Does that mean you might need to write a brief for the paper and an in-depth for the Web site? If news breaks at midnight, damn straight. If the news breaks at 3 p.m., then maybe it's a brief for the Web site and depth for the print edition (which ends up on the site anyway). If it happens in the morning, you can go ahead and plan on writing a brief for the site, updating with a full-story in the afternoon, then writing from a folo or feature angle for the paper.

    Remember 10 years ago, when you weren't really in competition with the television station because they provided video while you provided in-depth coverage and photos? Well, now you both have a common area of competition. Either we adapt or we die. Newspapers survived radio because radio couldn't do what we do. Newspapers survived television because short-form news broadcasts couldn't - and still can't - give you depth and perspective. But the internet ... well, that levels the playing field for everyone. And the relatively low start-up cost means that anyone with a credit card and a basic understanding of HTML can decide to compete against you.

    Ah, for the days when you had to be packing millions of dollars and 200 tons of press equipment to face off with the local rag.

    I got into the business because I love newspapers. When I started, the internet was this curious new thing that we couldn't quite wrap our minds around. But the world has changed.

    What does it all mean? You can't think of the Web site as this thing the newspaper does on the side. You have to think of it on equal footing and decide which medium can best deliver the news to your readers right now. Keep thinking that the Web site is a cute diversion to be filled with half-ass briefs without quotes and you'll just perpetuate the line of thinking that put newspapers so far behind in this game to begin with.
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