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Will 'Net reporters be able to rival print reporters?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Blitz, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    Here is a great column by editor of SAntonio Express-News in Sunday paper.
    It begs the question, won't lots of stories not get told if the print biz collapses?

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/Two_seamy_stories_that_without_newspapers_would_go_untold.html
     
  2. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    I found the first two comments that I saw posted beneath the editor's piece to be more interesting than his own essay:

    eternal - 2110:42 AM
    Report abuse
    The newspaper industry as a whole is losing money, I would imagine. And a lot of them face a big issue: whether or not to charge for their online service. The advent of the Internet, with it's availability of information from a variety of sources at the click of a mouse, has become a monkey on the back of the newspaper industry. There's so much $ that they're losing in advertising b/c their rates are set by the number of subscribers (potential customers) they have access to. As those numbers dwindle, the advertising dollars dwindle, too. And we all know that advertising is where most, if not all, of the funding comes from. Many people argue, "Why buy the paper when I can get it online for free?" And the newspapers recognize this. They then have to weigh whether they charge people to view online, and risk alienating their customer base, and pushing them into the arms of another newssite that disseminates the information for free or 2) offer free membership and hope they have enough page views to show to potential clients who'd like to advertise so they can justify their rate. A lot of people don't realize how precarious this has been. I'm glad that mysa.com is a free site. I'm also glad that they've *finally* allowed commentary by the public, a la statesman.com, so that we, the readership, can engage in discussion.

    ddavesj - 9:12 AM
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    "Newspapers still matter, and for those who think they do not, the Express-News is still read by more than 200,000 households every day and more than 300,000 on Sunday, not bad when you consider that we live in a metro area of approximately 1.5 million people, many of whom have not celebrated their 18th birthday." Quite a bold statement. Subscriptions and readers are not the same. I subscribe to the newspaper, but never read it. I get all my information from the internet. I am sure your count of 200,000 is what your marketing team gave you, but to say that every household reads the paper from back to front and sees every article, every day? Come on! I am one of those 200,000 and I am sure I am not the only one. I was not sure if this was a marketing piece or just a desperate ploy to save one's job. The irony of this all, is that you published this online, I read this online and I am responding online. By the way, I just canceled my subscription! count 199,999.
     
  3. Not to self: Do not read the reader comments at the end of such stories about our industry. Nothing good can come of it, as I was reminded just now for the 10,000th time.
     
  4. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    My other response to Rivard's piece is that, someone could make the same argument about a community needing proficient firefighting or a strong police force. Well, sure, of course. But if that stuff wasn't paid for through taxation, do you think each household would voluntarily kick in, rather than relying on everyone else to pay the freight?

    Subscribing to a diminishing daily product with a political agenda that might annoy you, and shows up on your doorstep late and sometimes not at all, and has been bled almost to death for decades by profiteering publishers and owners, for those rare occasions when a journalistic investigation actually uncovers dirt on a slice of life that matters to you and yours is a horribly inefficient way to make sure we're all protected by watchdogs.

    Unfortunately, we can't have journalism becoming a government-run entity because it's the government that needs watching. Nowadays, no one wants to pay for it, no matter how much the San Antonio newspaper editor implores citizens to do so.
     
  5. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    My occasional perusal of team message boards uncovers a lot of "Check out the bad press we're getting," featuring links to "stories" written by other fans. You know the sites I'm talking about: bleacherreport.com, etc.

    Good lord. Fans think that's "press."

    I'm out of work, and I'm looking, and I'm seeing a lot of ads seeking writers to cover sports. Compensation? No pay. The thrill of seeing your byline.

    The idea that anyone with a keyboard can write is, as we all know here, laughable, but it's a growing notion out there. And yet, when something big comes up, some of these same fans wait to see what legitimate media reports. Hmm. There is some credibility in a century or more of coverage, but when that brand name is gone, ceded to some cutting-edge-sounding identity -- Metropolis Now! -- who's to discern it from the thousands of blogs and online sites out there?

    This country is in a lot of trouble if legitimate journalism gets swept up and out by the citizen journalism B.S., but right now you've got a lot of consumers who are convinced that there's no difference between the press and the "press" they find anywhere and everywhere. And that's scary.

    And yes, I know I'm not exactly talking about the piece, but in a way, I am.
     
  6. Good grief. So, the print medium holds some sort of magical power that can't be transferred online? We're still getting this sort of hubris in late 2008?
     
  7. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    It's not hubris if the economic model can't afford the even teacher-like salaries needed to attract the kind of reporters and editors who would take on the watchdog role that separates traditional media from the rest. Check back in a few years to see the level of investigative work done by most online-only products.
     
  8. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Not a good question. Just because news won't be delivered on newsprint, that doesn't mean someone should infer that seamy stories will go untold.
     
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I came across this bio on bleacherreport.com.

    I've always liked writing about sports of any sort and this will serve me good for the future.

    By the way, the kid wants to be a sports writer. I just don't want to out him.

    There are too kids under the delusion that people care about their opinion. The cold-hard truth will come when you send in your clips from your blog posts and wonder why editors aren't calling you back.
     
  10. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    I think you are addressing exactly the idea that I was referencing from this editorial.
    The idea that Internet reporters are going to cover all the stories that traditional print media covers or covered is laughable.
    I think lots will go "unwatched" by the "media" in this less-than-bold new age of journalism.
    We'll see lots of schlock gi ven to us by the "twitters" of the new era.
    But too little real journalism.
    That's just a prediction.
     
  11. Yes, it does.

    It's called revenue.
     
  12. J-School Blue

    J-School Blue Member

    I think the bigger question is: will reporters anywhere be given the resources to do to do their jobs in a way that rivals past newspaper work.

    Sadly, I think the answer is becoming more and more: no.

    It's not about the medium. Good reporting is good reporting anywhere, but nowhere seems to value it right now.
     
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