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What should we do? Very serious question..

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by jason_whitlock, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Easy for you to say, when you write stuff worth reading. :)
  2. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    writing something worth reading usually requires the time to do it. As newspapers cut back, it gets harder and harder to justify taking the time to do that.
  3. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    And how many readers care if 'their' guy is at a national event that doesn't involve 'their' team? We've never once -- not once -- had a reader call and say words to the effect, 'you know, our team wasn't in the Super Bowl/World Series/NBA finals/final four, but we still really wanted to see our writer there.
    Readers are content with AP if their team isn't playing. Some of the spoiled beat guys need to understand that.
  4. tonysoprano

    tonysoprano Member

    Many valid points.

    I'd like to add that the problem was only furthered when the wrinkly, white, elitist editors and publishers set atop their perch and refused to change with the growth of internet sites. I know this for a fact. The "we just don't do that" attitude exists. That also extends to coverage of such things as UFC and extreme sports, and while we see stories about the need to target the booming Hispanic readership (for example), covering soccer and boxing is something that's only given lip service.

    Back to the original question - What should we do? Adapt. Think out of the box. Keep learning. Keep pressuring higher-ups to not accept status quo. Keep working hard and doing good quality work.

    Jason, you wanted to always be a columnist. Well, I always wanted to just be a sportswriter, and hopefully a good one. But reality's slapped me in the face, and I know I may not get to see my talent flourish at a newspaper in the long run. I used to feel guilty about that, but now I'm excited about the possibilities and other opportunities.

    I'll enjoy the ride while I can, I know the end will come, but I know it will turn out OK.  ;)
  5. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Thus ensuring their deaths.

    RIP Newspapers.
  6. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    two things:

    1. you guys know that newspaper chains are raking in money hand over fist, right? they're just not making as much money as before. but they're still making enormous sums of money. so instead of 28 percent profit margins, those are down to 17 percent. i'm approximating, of course, but newspapers are still highly profitable. not all industries make as much as newspapers, although i guess the point is that this is the new reality. maybe all newspaper chains should take a lesson from mcclatchy and go to a two-tier stock system so the class A stock is controlled by the family, which makes them mostly immune to so-called profit pressure from wall street. of course mcclatchy's approach has worked well for decades but it remains to be seen whether it works for the newer, much bigger chain.

    2. i have been doing legal research this summer for a professor working on media law issues. one of the things that's come up is the possibility that journalists need to differentiate themselves from bloggers and web sites (i'm lumping aarongleeman.com in with rivals.com and tiderinsider.com and the like for generalization purposes). one theory is that journalism could develop into a regulated profession, like the law, medicine, accounting and a handful of others. essentially you'd need a license to practice journalism. obviously this is a long-term thing to institute this approach and it wouldn't be easy, but the theory is that newspapers would become regulated -- not by the government like lawyers and doctors are, but by a sanctioning body the way obscure quasi-medical professions are regulated. then people would know that newspapers -- or more likely their web sites -- contain objective reporting as opposed to web sites or blogs which do not adhere to any standards of objectivity.
  7. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    Here's the thing about my earlier post that I didn't expound on enough. A lot of papers are trying to find ways to compete in the new media world while also eliminating positions. I think that's the wrong approach here. I think papers need to find a way to get new staff, from reporters to photographers/videographers to Web designers/programmers. I'm not talking a radical amount of hiring. Maybe just adding a couple or a few jobs and restructuring some others and replacing some retirees on redundant beats or in other parts of the paper with new positions.

    Of course, that isn't going to happen at many places. In most businesses you have to spend money to make money. At most papers that philosophy just don't fly.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Having the "license" we have now -- i.e. a college degree -- does not ensure that the people with them framed up on their walls do their jobs any better.

    Regulation wouldn't have any measurable effect on the industry. The best journalists I know all say that they learned 10x more in the newsroom than they did in the classroom, and in my experience, I'd say the same thing. You have to DO it, and keep doing it, to do it well. A regulated license wouldn't make reporting any more objective, wouldn't make it any more insightful, wouldn't make it any more informative. It wouldn't change a damn thing.
  9. tonysoprano

    tonysoprano Member

    Preach on brotha !
  10. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I disagree. At least there would be a mechanism to track the big-time offenders, both individually and corporate.
  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Online development has become the lightning rod issue this year, when it should have been a while ago. But plenty of places are finally recognizing it. Restructuring is happening, New approaches are being considered.
    These things are happening.
    The problem that still remains is the issue of revenue.
    People that enjoy reading fulfill that niche interest through magazines.
    People that want in-depth and specialized business news have sources for that.
    People that want recruiting rumors have sources for that.
    Meanwhile, the idea of paying for general content media has become absurd to a growing percentage of the population, who assume it will always be available for free on TV and now online.
  12. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    There's a mechanism now. It doesn't get enforced. You know that.
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