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State of the business is dismal, as we know, and yet ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by old_tony, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    It just occurred to me that demand for what we all have been doing all these years truly is at an all-time high.

    It seriously is. Sports fans can't get enough. They always want more.

    And yet, no one has figured out how to tap into that incredible demand to create jobs in this industry. Not a very good reflection on media bosses, no?

  2. When I read the newspaper, several ads are likely to catch my eye.

    When I read news on my iPhone, iPad or PC — hundreds of articles every week if not day when doing research — every single ad goes in one way and out the other. I retain nothing.

    Unfortunately I think a lot of people are the same way. (But that's good for print!)

    Also unless it's NYT on a bargain, I'm not paying to read a newspaper in its digital form.

    So until people start reading the ads and/or paying to get through the paywall, we'll be at this dilemma for a while.

    Corporate sponsors and what buzzfeed does (native advertising) do seem effective, however.
  3. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    That's the thinking that basically has killed the business. Not saying it's your fault, either. Every newspaper put its product online for free for so long that an entire generation can't be blamed for thinking that way.

    And now that newspaper bosses have shut the barn doors long after the horses have been gone, pay walls are so easy to get around.

    Yet there has to be a solution. I truly believe that demand really is at an all-time high.
  4. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Active Member

    The papers that are willing to take risks and push new types of content will be the ones that survive. As you mentioned earlier, the demand for sports content is at an all-time high. Yet many papers don't capitalize on that.

    How many papers are still doing straight gamers for college and pro games? Too many. How many have traditional columnists that don't do a ton of digital work? Too many. Half of them still write game columns before the final score instead of writing something more timely and relevant solely for the web.

    Even at the high school level, I see a ton of rote recaps. Who cares? All the people who want to know who scored and when were at the game. Give the readers something different.

    As far as pay walls, some are better than others. Those with a limit per month or who have those surveys that pop up aren't even trying, though. At the very least go to a timer (it's free for a week or 24 hours or something).

    Those who adapt will survive. The demand is there. Those who are too slow or stubborn will continue to die a slow and painful death.
    jr/shotglass and Rick Thorp like this.
  5. Padre

    Padre Member

    We don't, 95% of our stories are locked. Can't say I disagree with our management decision, either — although every day's obits probably have 3-4 subscribers we'll never replace, we're not giving stuff away and our subscription base has stayed fairly steady.
    old_tony likes this.
  6. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Unless you own part of a sports franchise or are one of the athletes, you're mistaking their product for yours. Newspaper sports departments represent a sliver of the fragmented delivery system for sports programming, news and information. Their only original content is news and analysis. Cable giants, which in addition to news and analysis have the rights (and all the access entailed) to the most compelling sports content, have had the greatest online success.
  7. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

    Sports fan can't get enough. Sports leagues know that, which is why in-house content has exploded. Teams and leagues do not need newspaper coverage and realize newspapers are helpless to do anything about it.
    Hokie_pokie and Mystery Meat II like this.
  8. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    That's the rub. The loss of older readers, the inability to replace them with younger readers, the inability to consistently monetize the Web for newsgathering purposes—all are moving parts that have their role to play in this tragedy. But something that doesn't get enough acknowledgment, at least in terms of sports journalism, is how easy and effective it is for teams and leagues to produce their own stuff. Often, fans of a team don't care about fair and balanced; if anything, they're more likely to assign the house organ a higher degree of credibility because hey, they'd know before some schlep at the local rag or hairdo on Eyewitness 5 On Your Side. Of course, if the team sucks or the program is facing NCAA violations, they may seek out competing sources then, but only insofar as they can get the info they want—they're not going to pledge fealty to the rag or TV station because they have the scoop on Coach Smith's firing.
    Hokie_pokie and Rick Thorp like this.
  9. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    NBC has no problem calling the Sunday Night games "their" product, so why should educated and professionally trained sports writers not consider the product of their years of training and experience their own, too. As far as what's going on on the Internet, that's the product that's being consumed.

    If you want to talk about the cable giants, where did they get nearly all of their talent? By raiding newspaper staffs.

    In the hours and days after an NFL weekend, where do the great majority of the fans of all the NFL franchises go first? The local newspapers' websites. That's the product that's consumed. That's what we've all (OK, most of us) have been doing all these years. We produce a product and it's in very high demand. I don't think that can be denied.
  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    NBC's product is the cameras, announcers, graphics, and everything else that goes into broadcasting the game.
  11. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    It's not a matter of replacing lost older readers with younger readers. It's a matter of replacing lost older readers who knew that you PAID for the paper with younger readers who NEED TO LEARN that you pay for the product. The readers never stopped being there. But the young readers were given the product for free all their lives because of the ridiculous ideas of incredibly stupid executives who leaped before they looked.
    Rick Thorp likes this.
  12. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

    Any statement people flock to newspapers before other sources needs to be backed up. Really think people are going to the local paper's website instead of ESPN, FOX Sports, or NFL.com?
    Hokie_pokie and FileNotFound like this.
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