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Putting articles just in print at first

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sctvman, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. sctvman

    sctvman New Member

    My local newspaper (Charleston) has begun to put articles in print only. It started a couple months ago with just one or two articles in the weekend papers. Now they are putting at least one or more articles in print only almost every day, including some of their big-ticket stuff like the high school and college football previews. They don't come in online until the day after they are in the newspaper.

    They are doing this more and more. In fact, on Sept. 11, they are having a 10-page Sept. 11 special section just in print.

    Do you know of any other papers that are doing this? What do you think about it?
  2. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    It's stupid. That means people have to buy a copy of the paper if they want to read local news and sports. Why make your customers go to so much trouble?

    Thank God most papers have spent the past decade or more eschewing bad ideas such as this.

    Oh, never mind. They're not paying for content. They're paying for ink, paper and delivery. Got it. Smart!

    Wait. No, that's even more stupid!

    Sorry. What was I thinking?
  3. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    Our paper doesn't put the content of any of its tabs online, including my football and basketball previews. We also don't put on any AP (supposedly we don't have internet rights), syndicated columnists or comics. I don't even think we post our classifieds.

    So I'd guess that roughly half of the paper's content on any given day is not available online. But it's the half you could either get somewhere else (AP, columns) or wouldn't be looking for, anyway.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    The stuff I've seen held back isn't worth buying a paper for.
  5. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    The Glens Falls Post-Star has been doing this for at least six months, if not more.

    It's usually one or two stories a day and it always includes letters.

    But if you have a print or web subscription, you get them.

    How is that different from places that require you to pay to read anything?

    Johnny: I cannot tell if you're being sarcastic or not.
  6. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I would have used blue font, but instead I'm blue in the face.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I understand they are trying to drive readership to the print product, but I think that rocket left the launchpad years ago.
  8. I don't think it's a particularly bad idea to keep some feature stuff or in-depth stories for print-only. Online readers don't usually spend a lot of time on long stories, so you're probably not pissing off the online-only crowd.

    A previous stop of mine has gone to a pay wall system, but I don't think they quite get it. They post a headline and the first sentence or two online only. I haven't checked in a long time, but I remember that they were at least at first not realizing that posting these featurey ledes and vague headlines gave people no insight to what the story was even about and so didn't lead to any paper sales.
  9. Brad Guire

    Brad Guire Member

    If I were in charge, I'd pull the plug on our website. No stories, photos or video. Nothing. We're small, but big enough that people would have to buy the print edition. We're the only daily paper within a 125-mile radius.

    I take that back. I'd keep a website, but the home page -- the only page -- would list a number for the circulation department. I'd be willing to try this for a year, not because I know for a fact that circ would increase drastically. I'm just curious to see what would happen in 12 months.

    Of course, there's probably a good reason why I'm not in charge of shit at my paper.
  10. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    I had someone recently email me and complain that unlike our local competitor and unlike the state's daily paper, we don't put every story in our paper online.

    Guy said he likes "both hard-copy newspapers, and on-line news." and likes "the flexibility of copying and forwarding salient information, "with attribution," to family and friends around the country." because his son is in Indiana and will not "subscribe to Hard Copy from" my state.

    He wrapped his email by saying: "On-line is darned handy for those who like to browse the net. When will you do the same?"

    I don't have the heart to tell him that we're a business and not interesting in giving our product away for free on a weekly basis. I just love how people don't understand why it wouldn't be in a newspaper's best interest to give all of its content away.

  11. Maybe I am out of the loop here.. But if I am providing the content online, free, then they are not my customers.
    Customers pay for a product and those who pay should be given access.

    You get what you pay for.

    SCTV: I am assuming your site is free and not behind a paywall?
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Your advertisers may feel differently.
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