Interesting strategy from the Atlanta Consitution-Journal: the US newspaper has launched an advertising campaign encouraging readers to turn to its Sunday print edition to escape from digital technology (via Common Sense Journalism)
“This is not an anti-Internet campaign,” Amy Chown, vice president of marketing, told Adweek.
“It’s not that we don’t want them to read us online. We wanted to balance the use of AJC.com during the week with the paper on Sunday.” Full story at this link…
It’s a letter from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution’s editor, Julia Wallace, to the users and readers.
In these times of economic difficulties, the paper is making a concentrated effort to balance its editorial and meet complaints that its opinion pages had become too liberal – ‘the issue that generated the most questions and comments to our publisher’, Wallace explains.
“Some readers believe we do a good job of being fair in our coverage and providing a balance of opinions. A few think we’re too conservative. But many more believe that our editorial pages are too liberal and that bias seeps into our news coverage. We have heard you on the bias issue and are taking deliberate steps to address this.
“On the news pages, we have several editors who are assigned to look for bias and balance issues in stories and headlines. This has led to fairer coverage – more care in our play of stories as well as more straightforward approaches in headlines and local and wire stories. We continually discuss this issue with our staff and will continue to put an emphasis on critical editing focused on fairness.”
The Bivings Group‘s recently released Bivings Report of the top 10 US newspaper sites in 2008 consisted of:
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
St Paul Pioneer Press
The study, which picks the list based on usability, design and web features of the US’ 100 largest newspapers, is purposefully limited to covering US-based, newspaper sites.
But as one commenter on the Bivings blog says, ‘No Mention of any of MY best news sites’ – he then goes on to list his own top 10, including Huffington Post and EveryBlock (which another commenter then takes as the Bivings’ list).
Is comparing like-for-like really that useful – newspapers aren’t just competing with each other – or other mainstream news organisations – anymore. What the Bivings Group rates the sites on may be completely different from the readers’ criteria – particularly if these comments are anything to go by.
Users’ online agendas are different (and that’s not to say news organisations should completely adhere to UGC inspired schedules – that’s a debate for another day) and influenced by a plethora of different online sources. As such their expectations of newspaper sites will be shaped by the other tools and information websites they use. Ranking newspaper websites against each other won’t deliver the kind of comparisons that these sites can take away and use.