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Shrinking staffs - and trying new things

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by get_me_rewrite, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. http://apse.dallasnews.com/2008/aug2008/082008cuts.html

    Found this interesting on APSE site. Certainly no punches held here. Good to see somebody telling it like it is and offering some ideas.
  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Of course this type of thinking is myopic. Whatever is of most interest to your local readership is what you should be covering whether it happened down the block or on the other side of the Earth. Newspapers need to realize this and not inhibit themselves with stupid rules regarding how many national/international stories to put on A1.
    Perhaps they have research that shows the interests of their readers and advertisers, and their staffing reflects that, but dumping the Yankees and Red Sox, especially at this point in the season, seems dumb.
  3. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    This is one of the big whiffs of recent whiffing vintage. UConn is huge there, but in a baseball-mad area as the Northeast, with two of the most prominent teams an hour from most readers, cutting coverage defines being short-sighted. I know it's ESPN's back yard, but this is unworkable folly.
  4. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Well, we didn't need confirmation that was fuckign stupid, but thanks anyway. (Not criticizing Scott Powers or Jeff Otterbein, I'd be smiling and talking about how optimistic things are, too, if Sam Zell's scythe was perched overhead)

    But now the Courant is nothing more than a small-town rag. NINE reporters for what was once one of the best papers in the country? As someone noted on the previous Hartford thread, just how are they going to handle Friday nights with that kind of staff? I don't care how many interns they handle. This will be an abortion.

    Also, this just in: People haven't read the Courant for preps coverage...EVER. That's what the small-town papers are for.

    And creating something for the reader who doesn't have a lot of time? This, too, is just in: PEOPLE WHO READ THE NEWSPAPER HAVE TIME FOR IT. All you're doing with stupid, condescending shit like this is driving away your audience. Congrats. Kudos to you.

    Fuck Sam Zell. In the ass with his scythe.
  5. people read the norwich bulletin, the new haven register, the willimantic chronicle and others for their preps coverage.

    as far as dom covering series involving both teams, i sure hope they keep that line of thinking. i can pick up the bulletin or the (new london) day or the chronicle or the register if i'm hankering for preps news. not the courant.

    (hartford is keeping the sox beat through the end of the season, fyi. i wouldn't be surprised if they eventually picked up the projo wire service or contracted with a stringer for better-than-wire coverage...otherwise they'll be skewered even moreso than they are now.)
  6. SlickWillie71

    SlickWillie71 Member

    The paper I'm at has gone from a sports staff of about 40-50 to about less than 25 and a bunch of part-time college students in the last year. I'm sure we'll reduce our coverage in teams as well. This -- sadly -- is a trend that's going to continue: a small staff that is worn down and unappreciated. If it's sounding like I'm a bitter member of a small, worn down staff that feels unappreciated, you get the gold star.
  7. GeorgeScott

    GeorgeScott Member

    You think your management's bad? Look what these guys have to deal with. The ME Wanted to cut all game stories and box scores? WTF? ??? Talk about not having a clue. Cutting Sox, Yanks, Pats and Giants? In Conn? I feel for those guys. They're dealing with moronic management. And I always loved the Hartford Courant. I know Scott Powers from his Florida days. He's a straight shooter and he showed some passion writing this thing. Good luck to those guys. I'm sure they'd love to see that once-great paper get sold.
  8. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    Part of the problem with these arguments is that everybody isn't talking about the same medium. If you're thinking in terms of a printed, daily newspaper, of course you need to have the non-local stuff in there because the subscriber is paying you to deliver him a nice package of the information he cares about.

    But if you view your operation as a web site, I'm not sure you need to have the Red Sox and Yankees, because the package function of newspapers isn't nearly as important the web, where the Red Sox fan probably has the Boston Herald's sports section as one of his Firefox tabs. What's more important on the web is to provide things people can't get anywhere else.

    That said, something tells me this is going to end up being cyclical and that in about 15 years some new brass at the Courant and a hundred papers like it are going to one day go, "Hey, you know the Red Sox are an hour from here and everybody in town cares about the Red Sox. How can people take us seriously if we're not staffing those games?"
  9. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    "We'll be smart, innovative, interactive, bold, different. Now all we have to do is achieve it with far fewer people."

    Simple, right? ::)
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    not harder.
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