Thursday, April 3, 2008

Heresy from a newspaper guy?

Editor & Publisher is the trade journal of the newspaper industry and its editor and writers are not easy on their sbuscribers. For one, they've been screaming for years about the lack of real journalistic coverage of why Iraq.

Now, one of E&P's columnists writes that he's actually canceled his subscription to the print edition of his local, hometown newspaper.

Columnist Steve Outing writes: "A print edition is no longer as relevant to our lives. We're flooded with information -- most of it free -- from the Web, e-mail, RSS feeds, podcasts, phone alerts, TV and radio news. Most of the information that comes in the daily print edition is not new to me. To continue to support the Camera's print edition would just delay the inevitable."

I've wondered about this, too. Before my early morning trek to my broadcast job, I trudge up the driveway to find the local newspaper print edition in order to thrown it closer to the house for my wife to read when she wakes up later.

A strange thought has crossed my mind any number of times as I've done this: That is, what if I had drivers drop off a recording this morning of what my news team broadcast yesterday? The morning newspaper certainly has some new stuff. But much of it is material gleaned from government press releases, and other sources, that we've already broadcast. Sometimes we do it in full, sometimes in brief. But 85% of the time, all local media are operating with info from the same sources.

Better yet -- instead of physically throwing a CD or a tape of yesterday's fullest broadcast in everyone's driveway, we post our most relevant stuff on our website, where it's accessible yesterday, today and tomorrow -- even next week.

My point is a broad generalization, of course. Santa Fe is blessed to have not one but two morning newspapers. They do a fine job. But so does KSFR, with much more meager resources.

The essential difference are style (they are restricted by theirs, we by ours) and immediacy.

No comments: