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Must Read Links


AOP: Publishers must put digital at centre of business models, says Sly Bailey

Publishers must put digital media ‘at the centre’ of their businesses to survive the current economic downturn, Sly Bailey, Trinity Mirror CEO, told an industry conference today.

Digital is no longer a ‘nice to have, it’s a must have’, but must be integrated into publishers’ business models, Bailey told delegates at the Association of Online Publisher’s (AOP) Digital Publishing Summit.

By 2011 digital revenues will represent a ‘substantial part’ of Trinity Mirror’s business, Bailey said, adding that she was not concerned about digital profits replacing print revenues.

Sly Bailey dixit. Ouçam a palestra por completo | Listen to the speech in full

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Local newspaper web sites have made a lot of progress during the past 10-plus years since they were first launched. Video, blogs, comments, constant updates – the list is long.

But one area that hasn’t evolved much at all on local news web sites is … strangely … the local news section.

If you click on the “Local News” tab on most local news sites, you see the same thing you probably saw in 1998: A list of headlines, in reverse chronological order, that link to stories published in the print newspaper. (I don’t pretend to have done this on every site, only a few dozen.)

At the same time, editors and publishers emphasize their “local news franchise” as the cornerstone of their operation. So why the disconnect from mission to execution?

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Town crier, town square, and community memory

Newspapers, which replaced the town crier with what became to be known as print journalism, are slowly awakening to a second function that’s ideally performed on the Web: the town square. But there’s a third role that’s being overlooked, and that’s the role of community memory.

I’ve begun using that term lately in discussions of how we need to expand our journalistic processes. We need to move away from exclusive reliance on episodic storytelling and toward the creation of “living resources” that are updated whenever they need to be. I touched on this concept briefly in earlier posts about obituaries, which in many cases ought to be life stories of the living.

Neither the production nor the consumption of news today is necessarily tied to a schedule. We’re no longer limited by the daily print cycle or the six o’clock newscast. Most journalists see that as a “publish it now” opportunity, but miss the “maintain it forever” implications.

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Charticle Fever

For decades, news organizations have been seeking ways to stem the steady decline of newspaper circulation and woo those elusive 18-to-35 year-olds who are likely to get their news free on the Internet. Well, here’s an equation that editors and designers in newsrooms ranging from small dailies in Oregon to major metros in Florida are increasingly turning to: Chart + article = charticle. (Think Brad + Angelina = Brangelina, but not nearly as hot and quite a bit geekier.)

Charticles–as defined by Omaha World-Herald Deputy Presentation Editor Josh Crutchmer–are combinations of text, images and graphics that take the place of a full article. But in many newsrooms, the term refers to a bunch of blurbs floating around with no byline, no transitions and–gasp!–no nut graph.


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