Newspapers continue to struggle with the paradox of skyrocketing popularity of their product while their their business model crumbles.

The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) has released new Nielsen Online data for January that shows nearly a 12% year-over-year increase in monthly unique audience for newspaper Web sites. That’s “the highest for any month since NAA began tracking these numbers in 2004,” according to a press release.

Also up (year-over-year): Unique audience (11%), reach (7%) and page views (15%). Here are all the numbers. No doubt the Presidential inauguration and the cratering economy had a lot to do with growth, but the trajectory is still impressive.

Meanwhile, layoffs are running well ahead of last year’s pace, half the newspaper holding companies in America are in or near bankruptcy and Time magazine just published its list of The 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America. We can’t remember a greater disconnect in any industry between product success and business failure.

The NAA’s announcement comes during the association’s MediaXChange conference going on in Las Vegas. We were surprised to learn about this event since we had managed to overlook it entirely until the press release showed up this week. The program looks to be focused on the right things: mobile, monetization, metrics, models and so on. Keynoter was Tony Hsieh, the Zappos CEO who has become a bit of a Twitter icon.

The NAA’s website for the event still betrays a certain clueless about the ways of the Internet, though. It’s positively hostile toward search engines and its blogs lack the essential element of the blogosphere: links. Here’s a short tutorial on why links are important. If you want to do a crash course in search optimization and online promotion, drop us a line.

Miscellany

Lots of colleges and universities now give away materials from past courses as a way of promoting the quality of their curricula. Online Degree World has a nice list of 100 Free Open Courseware Classes on Journalism, Blogging and New Media. This is the future, right? So what are you waiting for? College courses for free!


chronicle_in_ruins

That’s the headline that appeared atop this paid opinion (PDF) in the San Franciso Examiner last Friday, urging public action to save the Chronicle. The author, who identifies himself as Delfin Virgil, evokes images of William Randolph Hearst and historic photos of guys with suits and mustaches to argue that the Chron is an institution that belongs to the people and it should be given over some group unspecified group of citizenry to keep it alive.


The South Wales Echo just launched a new design with an edgy grunge video that “manage[s] to make the newspaper seem really cool,” according to Charles Apple. He’s got a link to the 1:43 clip or you can see it on YouTube. Learn from this.

And Finally…

Two gems from Erica Smith:

Former Journalist Christopher Ave has written a song called the Copy Editor’s Lament (The Layoff Song), celebrating the contributions of the many copy editors who are being cast aside as news organizations shift to blog-style journalism:

AP Stylebook is my bible,

Helps me stop the suit for libel,

But nothing ensures my survival now…

I don’t know what what I’ll do,

Now that I am through,

Killing my last adjective.

When not writing songs Ave is the political editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Erica also offers her favorite selection from someecards:

cant_lay_us_off

Comments

comments

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 at 8:20 am and is filed under blogging, Business News, BusinessModel, Journalism, Layoffs, NewMedia, Newspapers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Comments

  1. March 11, 2009 @ 11:57 am



    Hey guys, thanks for mentioning my song, “Copy Editor’s Lament (The Layoff Song).” But please note I AM STILL VERY MUCH A JOURNALIST and hope and intend to be one for a long time! I’m the political editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Thanks!

    Posted by Christopher Ave
  2. March 13, 2009 @ 2:37 pm



    Thanks for featuring my video for the relaunch of the South Wales Echo.

    James

    Posted by James Cuff