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What should we do? Very serious question..

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

  1. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    That, hondo, is because the readers of your paper have become numb to the crap product. They have no expectations.
  2. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    No, Hondo, I'm not satisfied with AP coverage but the people who run newspapers figure they can get away with it and since most newspapers have a local monopoly, they do get away with it -- for now. That's exactly the sort of conservative, uncreative mentality that is ruining newspapers. The point is if you have an NBA/MLB/NHL guy worth anything, they can provide and should be able to provide something which you can't get from AP or from watching television.
  3. Trucha

    Trucha Member

    I'd be in favor of sending a writer and/or columnist from, say, Kansas City to the Seahawks-Steelers game, but only to write about local ties to the game. Any given metro area has to have enough ties to the game, whether it's former college studs or the equipment manager. It always amazes me that metro papers would send a guy to write basically the same story that AP will write, as if they're saying, "Our gamer will be better." Well, if I'm sitting in the ME's chair, I'm going to question whether the gamer that might be better is going to be worth the money.

    In my experience, if you give an ME or publisher a fresh idea about covering an event like that, and you can show how it will benefit the readers and, directly or indirectly, revenue, they'll let you run with it.
  4. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    I agree with you Gold when it comes to coverage of the local teams.
    But what sense does it make for East Coast papers to spend the money to go to the NBA Finals between Dallas and Miami when games didn't start til 9 or later and did not make first, or in some cases second, edition? Not worth the expense
    As BTE mentioned earlier, his paper (obviously a rather large one in SoFla or Texas) had six writers and three photogs at the Finals and had to scramble to make first edition. So what did they gain from spending that much money?
  5. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    General content media is rather the equivalent, in retail terms, of the department store, isn't it?
    Now, with super outlet malls, not to mention the internet, they're dinosaurs to many, other than the old folks.
    They seem to be constantly trying to reinvent themselves, they seem to be merging with other department-store chains to the point where they'll all be owned by one entity. They try to get "hip". All those things.

    But it's funny. I'm not that old, but I actually really like shopping in them. One-stop, so to speak, unless you need something really, really specialized. That's how I feel about my newspaper, too. One-stop overview. If there's anything I need more in depth, well, there's always going to be something out there with that expertise.
  6. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Before you bury the newspaper just yet:
    --Newspapers don't have popups.
    --Newspapers aren't at the whims of dail-up or power outages.
    --Newspapers are priced for ubiquity. Stuff like Treo and other PDAs are not.
    --Newspapers are a helluva lot easier to read than cellphone Internet, and aren't at the whim of dropped signals.
    --Newspapers have a niche, a niche that doesn't include most computers users. Computer use is an instant-gratification, quick-movement thing. Newspapers are more contemplative. If newspapers would give readers more good stuff to contemplate, they'd be better off. Quite simply, people don't make the Internet their first stop for deep think. Newspapers should not be giving up their advantage.
    --A well-designed broadsheet page will look better than a computer page, pretty much. Maybe papers should use more photos, and use their Web operation more for slideshows and videos produced by staff.
    --Newspapers are the favored medium for many kinds of businesses. Businesses know Web surfers hate ads with a passion.
    --Newspapers survived television. And is the Internet really much more formidable? After all, tons of businesses went under assuming that the Net was the way to go for retail. Sure, there are Web retail successes. But retail stores are far from dead
  7. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    I don't think newspapers are going to go extinct in two years. I think the hard-copy products will continue to exist in some form.
    But the push is on within the newspaper industry to develop Web-specific content and to expand to a 24-hour news cycle.
    I think these are good ideas, but I still wonder what the real viability of online revenue is. I have yet to see the management presentation that addresses the topic.
    In general, online users don't want to register, limiting the possibility for direct-marketing advertisment via e-mail. Further, many online users consider such direct-marketing advertisement junk e-mail and disassociate from sites that market that way.
    Most online users don't want to pay for subscriptions to general-content media.
    The success of pop-up and pop-under ads, and other online ads, can be severely limited, thus online ad rates are low.
  8. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Fair question, spnited.

    What you gain is credibility and a connection with your readers. It's not the game stories that are important, it's everything else.

    Yes, I know that is not tangible and you might not be able to show a tangible dollars and sense benefit. However, I think a good-sized paper can promote it and show they are a major player in covering big-time events - and if you are in an NBA city, the NBA Finals is the third-biggest event of the year. Your writer makes better contacts and can get to know a lot of people. You can put stories in your paper - the other papers won't have them or you will be keeping up with them.

    Perhaps you can work a deal where the person covering it can talk on a local radio station during the mornings each day - great promotion for the newspaper. You promote your paper's website.
  9. GlenQuagmire

    GlenQuagmire Active Member

    ... Your writer makes better contacts and can get to know a lot of people ...
    Another reason for newspaper editors and publishers to shoot down the idea. After all, most of them think the more contacts you have, the more opportunities for you to leave for a better job.  ::)

    They're probably right, though.
  10. Gold

    Gold Active Member


    Good point to raise, and a good thing that someone with stature raises it.

    You may be one of the few people who hasn't been affected by this - OK, maybe few might be stretching the point, but you get the idea.

    I remember when I was in college in New Jersey, there was one paper which ran Jim Murray's syndicated column. At the time, I thought he was just some Los Angeles guy and none of them were as good as the New York or even Philadelphia guys (I know, I know, but I was young and stupid). Let me ask you, if you had a choice to make, would you decide to be syndicated nationally as a columnist or appear as a television guy. I ask that in the sense of compare and contrast. I would think being a television commentator, at least in sports, is far more rewarding and lucrative in a professional sense because you are promoting and benefit more than you would if you were, say, a syndicated columnist with no television. In the first place, I would think it is a better deal financially and in terms of exposure. (And if you don't have an agent, I can be reached at... :) ]

    Seriously, while blogs in the sense of people ranting won't improve newspapers, I think more opinion and insight columns would be a big, big improvement over the content and direction of newspapers, which seems to be more and more satisfied with more AP and less local content)
  11. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but since there are very few multi-newspapers towns any more, all the editors care about is not getting beat by local TV. In case you haven't noticed, that's like taking candy from a baby. As bad as some people may think the newspaper product is getting (and memo to 69: our paper isn't nearly as bad as you think), it's not nearly as bad as the local TV sports scene almost anywhere.
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