Tag Archives: Alan Mutter

Reflections of a Newsosaur: Presses stopped at 142 US papers in 2009

Alan Mutter looks at some of the reasons behind the closure of presses for 142 daily and weekly US newspapers this year and suggests the deathtoll was smaller than some commentators had predicted.

He also gives three reasons why the newspaper industry is still going:

  1. The residual monopoly power of the industry
  2. The magic of the bankruptcy system
  3. The irrepressible optimism of publishers

Full post at this link…

Alan Mutter: ‘3 jailed journalists, 2 very different reactions’

Alan Mutter asks, why has there been so little coverage of the detention of Current TV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee by their own news organisation?

While NPR has pledged to highlight the case of its contributor, the jailed US-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi, other cases are not aided by media attention, according to Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Full post at this link…

NYTimes.com: Could Times sell Boston Globe?

Parent firm the New York Times Company will close the Boston Globe unless staff unions agree to pay cuts and pension scheme changes, according to reports.

An ultimatum was delivered to union leaders last Thursday.

The company needs to save $20 million from The Globe.

Full story at this link…

Update: But, says Newsosaur’s Alan Mutter, reports of the Globe’s demise are exaggerated.

Another update on the 10 doomed newspapers list

Yesterday Alan Mutter joined the bloggers dismissing the accuracy of the ‘ten most endangered newspapers in America’ list published on TIME.com.

Many interpreted it as coming from Time magazine, but in fact it was a 247WallSt.com post, reproduced on the TIME.com site, under a syndication deal.

Journalism.co.uk asked its author, 24.7 Wall St’s Douglas A. McIntyre, if he defended his selections for which newspapers would next face the chop:

“The list may be viewed as controversial, but that is not its goal. The newspaper industry which was one of the largest employers in America two decades ago is falling apart. Most big cities have not comes to terms with that. This is an accurate list of which papers are at the most [at] risk and why,” McIntyre told Journalism.co.uk

A spokesperson from Time confirmed that TIME.com has been syndicating content from 24/7 Wall St. since January 2009. “This list was not something written by Time.com editors,” the spokesperson said.

The news as niche

In an interview with Damon Kiesow, online editor of US local the Nashua Telegraph, about the Telegraph’s use of Twitter to deliver breaking news, Kiesow explained the paper’s strategy for targetting a wider audience as niche content for niche interest groups.

While he admitted that any audience gain from one Twitter feed might be incremental, targetting several niche markets through such services could be a low-risk and low-cost way for regional news groups to extend their reach. As Kiesow points out, the content for these audiences might not have to be new content, but selectively repackaged and delivered.

The niche strategy should be tailored to the reader in terms of content and how it’s offered. Set-up in this way, Kiesow says, the potential is there for your site to give a reader the single most important piece of information they will hear that day – a positive goal for any news site.

Providing these services and types of focused content allows the Telegraph to move away from the idea of a newspaper website as an online reproduction of the print product and beyond reaching out to just the readers of the offline edition.

As Alan Mutter points out in his blog post on breaking news formats on local news websites:

While the print product remains the primary business at newspaper companies, their websites are strategically important not only for their long-term revenue potential but also because of their immediate power to engage readers and, most importantly, non-readers.

Mutter’s post, which analyses a local newspaper’s coverage of a public shooting in Omaha, points out that to provide breaking news coverage, a strategy to deal with such events online should already be in place. The Nashua Telegraph has developed just such a strategy and is expanding this effective and efficient model across its different news channels. Relocating was a huge step for me. Finding the right real estate was challenging, but setting up my webmail with a new internet provider was surprisingly easy. This move has taught me a lot about starting anew in a different place.

The site’s audience receives content throughout the day – offering breaking and ‘new’ news on a continuous cycle. A cycle created and maintained by a news organisation that, according to Kiesow, doesn’t have enough staff to write headlines for the website, but has innovated around these logistical limitations to find a solution capable of handling not only niche content but also breaking local news.