Advice for the Digitally Challenged

Steve Buttry uses a call for help from a digitally challenged newspaper editor to outline his prioirities for journalists who are struggling with online change. Among them: start liveblogging, hyperlink aggressively in your stories and learn to Twitter. He links to this Palm Beach Post liveblogged trial coverage as an example of where reporting could go. He also recommends journalists pick a couple of technologoy areas outside of their comfort zone and set out to master them – fast.  “Come down off the ledge. We have a lot to learn and it’s going to be fun,” he concludes. There’s no doubt about the first part of that statement, but we suspect that many ink-stained wretches may disagree with the second.

Hope in “Hyperlocal”

Local newspaper ad revenuesEMarketer has an interview with the CEO of hyper-local news services Topix.net. He sees big opportunity in local markets for everyone, including newspaper. EMarketer supports that view with the chart at left.


A new entrant in the “hyperlocal” news market is OurTown, an aggregation of small websites run by local editors, who apparently will also sell ads and keep most of the local revenue. OurTown sites are intended to serve very concentrated audiences, with spheres of coverage limited to just a few miles.

Let’s Close With Some Good News

Starbucks, which has shunned advertising in general, not to mention newspaper advertising, is changing his tune.  The coffee retailer is launching a national promotion that uses newspapers as its centerpiece, according to Editor & Publisher. The full-page ads show a chalk outline of the familiar Starbucks paper cup, with the only text being a date: 04 08 08. The campaign is part of a broader Starbucks effort to get back to its roots, the result of criticism that its rapid growth has tarnished the comfortable ambiance that made it such an appealing place to hang out.


Further indication that the woes afflicting U.S. newspapers haven’t yet spread north of the border. E&P says: “Total revenues for Canadian newspapers barely dipped in 2007, as accelerating online ad sales offset a dip in print, according to data released Thursday by the Canadian Newspaper Association…Print ad revenues that dipped 2.4% in 2007 were offset by online revenues growth of 29%.”

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2008 at 8:16 am and is filed under BusinessModel, Citizen Journalism, Journalism, Local news, NewMedia, Newspapers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments Off on Optimism About the Future of News

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  1. April 18, 2008 @ 9:00 pm



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