Internet Internet Blither Blather Blah

God, David Carr:

No more free content. The Web has become the primary delivery mechanism for quality newsrooms across the country, and consumers will have to participate in financing
the newsgathering process if it is to continue. Setting the price point
at free — the newspaper analyst Alan D. Mutter called it the “original
sin” — has brought the industry millions of eyeballs and a return that doesn’t cover the coffee budget of some newsrooms.

Look, I’m not saying I’m adamantly opposed to paying some kind of premium for quality content provided said quality content is both, not to mention presented in user-friendly fashion, but to pretend the present model is failed is to tie your ice skates together, fall down, and say skating is impossible.

You could always try continuing to make money off what you’re doing right now, instead of pretending there’s some kind of Newspaper Authority that can dictate what a bunch of independently owned companies with similar but not identical missions and standards will do online. You could do marketing and distro correctly, such that people know why your paper is important and find it easily. You could stop cutting back and then acting like that’s going to stop the bleeding.

And then you could take themillions you’re still making and invest in an online infrastructure that makes newspaper sites user-friendly and fucking search engines user-possiblesuch that I don’t spend three days looking for a brief and getting nothing but recipes, Chicago Tribune.

In other words, you could unfuck what’s already there, instead of inventing new things to fuck up and then unfuck. I don’t understand the enduring need to make a whole new crisis instead of solving the one in front of us.


3 thoughts on “Internet Internet Blither Blather Blah

  1. For the first time this weekend my local paper had an ad on page A1, and this morning’s A section was 6 pages – of which 2½ were ads, one being a full-back-page on why print newspapers are better than the interwebs. And they’ve debuted a new feature – the “print only” story (no online version).
    This paper is trying desperately to keep itself alive, but cannibalizing the only resource it has: the pages of its paper. If they continue to cut content, I may be the only one left reading it right before they turn out the lights (and only because I used to be a reporter and so have a psychological investment in local rags).

  2. remember when their was a ticker that spit out facts and then newspapers ‘tweaked it’. where’s the FACT ticker?

  3. i have been reading almost every day lately about solving the newspapers’ problems by making people pay for reading newspapers on the internets.
    this is nuts, right? how well did that work out for the NYT’s? selling content behind a subscription wall didn’t seem to work out too well for them.
    there are lots of things newspaper management hasn’t tried. for a start, showing respect to their readers.

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