Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Newspapers in the Age of Blog

Doug at Bogus Gold has a good post today regarding the challenges presented to newspapers in the internet age. Doug lists five areas where newspapers are slow to adapt to the changes brought about by the advancement of online media.

This, in particular, is one area where newspapers can still thrive:

Specialization versus generalization. Newspapers traditionally attempted to offer content about a little bit of everything, assuming a subscriber used them as their main daily news-source. This is neither characteristic, nor necessarily desirable in an online reader. Online readers are likely to get news from many different sources in a given day. The value of reading the same national AP article published at the Pioneer Press site, versus half a dozen other newspaper sites is questionable. Rather than featuring stories available in greater depth elsewhere, newspapers should be trying to identify areas where they can be the expert source to which people turn. The most obvious place this should be for a local newspaper is to focus on original local reporting. But surely, innovative newspapers will not stop there. They need to find what they're particularly good at delivering and focus effort there.

I've been formulating a post on exactly this topic for weeks. And now Doug's beat me to it.

The rest of Doug's post is equally enlightening.

Regarding blogs, I'll add this. If I were running a newspaper, I would immediately start up a related blog, and have all my reporters as contributors. I would instruct them to use the blog as a way to discuss stories that they're working on, connect with readers, take criticism, (even dish out criticism) post portions of print articles, gather information, and use it all to promote the heck out of the newspaper in an authentic, interactive manner.

Think any newspaper will actually try it?


At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admit I don't read many blogs, so maybe I'm wrong about this... but it seems that 95% of all blog "news" comes from the mainstream media. Bloggers read a story on CNN.com, or they read it in their local paper or on their local paper's website, and then the blogs are filled with comments about the news.

My point is, it seems blogs are not a replacement for the traditional news outlets, but a compliment to them. Again, I'm not familiar with every blog in the sphere, but it seems very few of them have reporters out on the streets, very few of them are calling people and uncovering news, very few of them do anything but point their readers to the traditional news outlets.


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