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Posted on April 2, 2010 | tags


Biz: Newspapers willing to guilt you into reading their articles

  • “If you don’t have us around, we’ll break your leg.” Journalism is an interesting beast these days. There’s more of it going on than ever, but not nearly as much of the kind that is truly helpful to the community. But we can probably all agree that scare tactics won’t convince people to start reading the paper again. It’s journalism’s job to innovate, not the other way around.
  • there’s a point here As poorly as this ad puts it, it does have a point. The nitty gritty of the journalism process is in severe danger of going away. The low-paid scab reporter who willingly covers boring but necessary city council meetings? There’s no equivalent of him or her in the blogosphere (at least not with a paycheck for their work). Local journalism is at a real turning point.
  • proving its worth The problem, though, is local news outlets are generally really bad at explaining this point, and when they do, it’s really heavy-handed (see the subway ad above). So, what’s next? We’re guessing one of two things need to happen: One, it needs to be community-supported on a non-profit basis (see MinnPost), or two, it needs to truly innovate. Or both.
  • will the iPad help? Tomorrow, many large papers, from USA Today to The New York Times, will release apps to coincide with the release of the iPad. From a outsider’s standpoint, they look great (especially the USA Today one). But really, we want to see what mid-sized dailies will do. USA Today won’t go away. The Kalamazoo Gazette might. And, honestly, we need it more. source