Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lose 20 lbs in one week

It took a long time for newspapers to get in the jam we’re in, and expecting an easy fix is about as promising as tabloid headlines screaming at us to buy their beauty miracles. Want me to look 10 years younger? Promise me I’ll have a job in six months.

There’s mixed messages about what a new business model for newspapers should look like. The Globe and Mail tried generating revenue through web subscriptions, and dumped that by offering its content for free on theglobeandmail.com.

I’ve read opinions about paying a nominal fee per article, while others insist the public demands free news and information.

The Grand Bend Strip in southwestern Ontario requires readers to register to view content. Not too far away, the Kincardine Independent offers web exclusives, presumably stories and photos that didn’t make the paper. Hopefully it isn’t just stuff that makes the web before print. There’s nothing exclusive about that.

I’m on board the train of thought that says let’s invest in quality local content. Let’s do a better job publicizing our bloggers whether they’re on staff or not. Let the public know which reporters can be followed on social networking sites. I like the idea of highlighting community bloggers, maybe as a regular feature.

I’ve read that bloggers might be the new moneymakers. A Sun Times columnist in Owen Sound, Ont., started a blog smalltownmoms.com that’s publicized on the newspaper’s online site.

The one consistent message among the noise is that we need to interact more with the public. It isn’t good enough to just let them make a comment or two on our websites.

The Hyper Journalist


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