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Links of the Day:

- The journalism world was jolted by news the Times-Picayune in New Orleans is cutting staff and publishing only three days a week. Newhouse Newspapers announced the same move for papers it owns in Alabama. The company also owns the Syracuse Post-Standard, a foreshadowing of things to possibly come for that organization.

The news was startling because the Times-Picayune won a Pulitzer for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina (much of that coverage was online). The outlet led national coverage of the disaster. More recently, I’ve been awed by its amazing and disturbing coverage of the state’s for-profit prisons.

Of course, Newhouse is spinning this as a positive thing. Online coverage will be beefed up! We’ll bring you more news! Erik Wemple at Washington Post points out:

Bolded text added to highlight Latin-rooted corporate nonsense. Strikes me that if you reallocate to accelerate, you necessitate more people, not fewer people. The memo rhetoric is just another variation on the we’re-going-to-do-more-with-less cant that fools no one and insults everyone, every time.

While I agree with the assessment that cutting journalists does not lead to a better product, I don’t mourn the loss of print. I haven’t read a printed newspaper in a long, long time.

A newspaper doesn’t go away when print goes away. I often wish print would go away now. Print can force reporters to write a certain length. Print can force newspapers to hold stories because of space needs and the needs of the front page. Print can force reporters NOT to write as much as they would and could because of false constraints.

But a lot of people still read print and it’s paying a lot of bills. For now. Not publishing every day doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

- I bet a lot of newspaper reporters are sending their resumes into Warren Buffett-owned outlets.

- After reading this column in the Buffalo News, I’m convinced I’m the only person who’s not excited by the prospect of a death fall into the Niagara River.

- This is a little scary. Ohio’s governor is letting businesses draw a lot of water from Lake Erie.

 – When should a students off-school-grounds conduct be punished in school?

7 Responses to Three Days a Week

  1. May 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm Matthew responds:

    The Detroit Free Press (Gannett) went to three days for home delivery but they’re still publishing a print version every day. According to the linked article, the Times-Picayune is going from a newsroom of 150 to a below 100. Print or no print, I don’t see how there’s going to be more or better reporting.

    Compelling local content and original journalism sells papers (or builds readership on a web-based product). Who wants to read a bunch of rehashed AP headlines that you can get anywhere? The financial reality may be catching up with them, but I just see this as a death spiral rather than a bold way forward.

    • May 25, 2012 at 10:39 am Rachel responds:

      Ideally, the move to online removes the constraints of print and leads to more content, faster content. But that doesn’t mean newspapers will execute this way.

      Of course, cutting journalists is bad. I hope the jobs lost have more to do with print production than feet on the street.

  2. May 25, 2012 at 7:10 am lynn e responds:

    Newspapers allow for more through coverage of news and opinion pages too. TV isn’t replacing that. I don’t get newspapers either but reley on their websites and still get the NYT for my Kindle.

  3. May 25, 2012 at 10:46 am Jamie responds:

    ‘do more with less’

    if we can shave 1 second off the process-
    if we can cut testing and reporting-
    supply chain this, logistics that-
    yes, yes, we can do more with less!

    let’s make these seats and portion sizes smaller,
    let’s cut a third of our staff and holler
    about how we’ll be even better!
    yes, yes, we can do more with less!

    the mantra of global corporate greed.
    nevermind if it creates more in need.

  4. No, I don’t own stock in Newsweek. This is the online ezine, The Daily Beast, put out by Newsweek. It’s slightly pink around the edges but I post it to illustrate where online news content formatting is going.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/

    So far it’s free. Note the highly graphic and interactive display, slide show feature window in upper left, minimum text on click thru icons to get you to the content, unconventional placement of news categories and general disregard for traditional print layout.

    Most newspaper folks, and apparently the web designers they hire, don’t know how to do this with their online editions. They are hopelessly locked into a sectional format with headlines, center-fold mentality and ponderous text showing on the splash pages.

    I don’t read the D&C anymore, so don’t know or care if they will ever morph away from taking pictures of their print format as a splash page to access its online content like the beta splash page it showed briefy in announcing the paywall policy.

    The Buffalo online splash moves in an online format direction, especially with its video reporter panels along-side the text content in the upper right.

    I get this facebook Buf News everyday sent to my FB acct:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/TheBuffaloNews

    Here’s the BUF News splash page – note reporter vid to right of top and disregard for print layout:

    http://www.buffalonews.com/

    • June 1, 2012 at 12:24 am Max Fenster responds:

      I migrated to the Beast because they recruited Frum and Sullivan. Imagine the D&C actually recruiting talent with a following, rather than sitting on their tired brand butts.

  5. June 1, 2012 at 12:19 am Max Fenster responds:

    Perhaps there is less happening in the world to report on?

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