Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bridging the web print divide

Although newspapers have been reporting via the Web for more than a decade, the extent to which online newspaper reports have expanded to include more video and audio elements, constant breaking news, and the exploding world of blogs, online columns, and reader feedback is nearly limitless. With podcasts, daily streaming reports, and other visual images, newspapers are combining their newsroom talent with the Web's immediacy and high-tech presentations to revolutionize news coverage well beyond the morning paper.

In the past year, numerous newspapers, including USA Today, the New York Times, The Sacramento Bee, and the Chicago Tribune, have reorganized their approach to create either 24-hour "continuous" news desks or combined Web/print newsrooms in which the online and print staffs are integrated. "The critical thing is that this is a merger, not a hostile takeover," declares USA Today Editor Ken Paulson. In a key move last December, he promoted Kinsey Wilson, who holds the top position at the paper's Web site, to an executive editor post. "It is a combining of talent," Paulson explains. "The hope is that the print edition will help enhance USA Today online, and those online will help bring their talent to the newspaper."

Source: Editor and Publisher

Citizen journalism redux

A nice roundup here of the main points of “citizen journalism” (or community/user generated content, or whatever you prefer to call it).

Includes the effects on traditional journalism, early examples of cit journalism, interview with Dan Gillmour, and a look at the BBC's UGC unit.

Guardian editor on the end of newspapers

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger spoke to the Royal Society of Arts in London a couple of weeks ago on the subject "Newspapers in the age of blogs".

The speech was blogged extensively by Mike Butcher at mbites:

"The Guardian's editor is almost certainly unique amongst British newspaper editors as having regularly supped with start-ups and Web 2.0 companies in Silicon Valley. He is trying to figure out, understandably, how his newspaper should deal with the pincer movement of the terminal decline in newspaper readership and the loss of display and classified advertising revenue - all thanks to the Internet. [...]

The picture certainly looks grim. Revenue is walking out of newspapers, into Internet portals and niches titles.

At the same time, Rusbridger outlined, there is a gap between the time it is taking newspapers to develop their own web sites and the surge in internet revenues among the boisterous technology start-ups and the leviathans of Google, Yahoo! and MSN."

An MP3 of Rusbridger's speech is here.