New News: Deconstructing the newspaper
From Deconstructing the newspaper (BuzzMachine):
“It is important for newspapers to boil themselves down to their essence and figure out how to do better at providing that unique and valuable service.”
I don’t consider myself a particularly valuable contributor to the New Newsroom conversation, since I’ve never subscribed to a newspaper, and probably never will (thought I did deliver them for many years). My greatest exposure to the newspaper are when my neighbors go out of town and have them delivered to us while they’re gone. Aside from that, all I typically see is the funnies in the breakroom. That said, here I go anyway.
I generally agree with Jeff on his points about what will keep the newspaper alive, and I do think it’s important that they stay alive because any independant news coverage is important, especially in the current atmosphere. We need all the truth-telling we can get these days, no matter who’s on the receiving end. Mostly I think that Jeff has good pointers that the newspapers would be wise to heed.
However one thread of this particular piece (which it has in common with others he’s written) is the idea of syndicating everything you can:
“I’ll be[t] that half the papers that maintain third-rate bureaus in Washington would do better running news from syndicates….”
I see the same problem with over-syndication that I see with over-consolidation in media markets. Fewer voices means less truth – whatever truth is – and if we end up with all the news in newspapers nationwide provided by 3 or 5 news agencies, the loss of so many voices will be sorely felt, and noticed too late.
Perhaps Jeff’s way is the only way for newspapers to survive, I don’t know, but I’m afraid of a world where every bit of news I read is written by the same 5 or 6 organizations.