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Reacting to news

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by miamiheraldchick, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Frank, there are certainly problems in editorial approach -- I agree with you: being less newsy is not the answer.

    But the bigger problem is the business model.

    I don't think it's Chicken Little to say that the business model for newspapers is eroding -- and has been for a number of years.

    So the question is: how much effect can editorial have on creating a better business model? The "failing newspaper" is not just an editorial problem -- this is an advertising problem, a revenue problem.

    If the revenue drys up, it won't matter how newsy we are.
  2. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Look, I don't want to out myself, but my company is trying some very aggressive, innovative things to bring in more revenue, including spending a heck of a lot of money, albeit not in the newsroom. Our company is not giving up, and I believe in the people at the very tippy-top of the company. I feel bad for people working in less upbeat companies, but all I can say is our ownership has been right pretty often and dumped its non-print holdings but won't dump us. We may be an old cow, but we are still a cash cow.
  3. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I'm not stepping aside. I've spent my entire adult life in Sports Sections. I'm not down on the biz, it's my life. I have just as much at stake as the rest of you.

    But, your myopic stance that we're going to forge ahead by getting more "unique news" -- a vague and ubiquitous term -- in the paper is hardly pragmatic, and borderline absurd.
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Newspapers tried it your way already. They were called PMs. They died. Nobody wants a soft, flabby, waste-of-time, daily magazine on shitty paper. They want one-stop shopping for news, hard news. They do not have time to pore over analyisis. They want to get in, get out, get on with their lives. History says so. Never has the kind of product you suggest been successful. And while technology changes, people's desire to swallow us down quickly like medicine never will. A leisurely product is suicide.
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I'm not saying any of us should be or want to be...
    USA Today says you're wrong. Bill Keller, Len Downie and Jim O'Shea memos instructing staff to follow length guidelines says you're wrong. Said editors forging ahead full force on their websites, says you're wrong.
  6. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I'm beginning to think you have a reading-comprehension problem. I have been arguing all along for hard, fast, short. Why else would I bring up the free dailies, which are basically digests?

    Where did I say we shouldn't hedge our bets with Web sites? But we shouldn't give away the store while we're doing it.

    But we are talking here about newspapers and what we have to do to keep them viable. The thread is not about department stores, it is about hard news vs. soft news. And history says soft does not work. Ever. Opinion journals have existed as long as print has, and they've never been financially viable.

    You are going off on some crazy tangents and I'm not interested in responding to them anymore.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    You've cornered me as a soft-news person. That is hardly the case.
    I read fine. I just choose to lift my head from the newspaper to see the world passing by.
  8. Apex

    Apex Member

    For the record, Walmart HAS bought print advertising in newspapers. A little more than a year ago.

  9. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Looks like it lasted for one week. That saved us.
  10. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    WalMart advertises with us in the print section quite often, mind you we're in Canada and they're the only big box store in town, but we've got them often.
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