Friday, November 7, 2008

U.S. News offering digital edition as well as monthly print edition

The Washington Post is reporting that U.S. News & World Report is switching to a monthly print edition, but will go digital but "special reports, daily news updates, blogs, newsletters, rankings, guides and videos" will be updated and posted on its web site, it says. 

More college media poor judgment

An Arizona student newspaper became the second college paper to run a cartoon about Barack Obama and the N-word. Bad judgment continues.

Hot news

OK, so it's maybe it's not the hottest news, but I love comic strips and believe they have suffered from benign neglect from uptight editors who never appreciated them because they don't have either a sense of humor or sense of history.  Comic strips became popular during a period when newspapers faced rigorous competition -- from other newspapers. 

Anyway, Berke Breathed's wonderful Opus strip has been retired (here's the last printed strip) has got many newspaper editors thinking about comics. Some, of course, are just not replacing it to cut their costs. But others are adding such great strips as Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine or Daddy's Home. (The last is a shameless plug for what really is a good comic drawn by my friend Gary Markstein who is also a very talented editorial cartoonist.) Columbia Journalism Review has a nice roundup of the comics news.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election thoughts, contd.

Here's Business Week's take on what it called "A Victory for Social Media, Too."

More election day news consumer fallout

Research indicates that broadcast television audiences continue to erode in favor of cable and the Internet. The latest comes from a study of election day. CNN actually beat CBS in viewers. Clearly many Americans are looking to cable for news and commentary more than broadcast. I also wouldn't discount the Internet. I spent much of election night switching from one cable channel to another while using a laptop all the while.

Interesting report on Internet social community

Read the MediaPost's report on fractured social community on the Internet. It demonstrates, once again, that no one really understands what's happening out there -- just that something is happening. This report is fascinating.

Don't know what the run on newspapers really means, but. . .

the fact that all over America newspapers sold out, printed extra editions and added specialties like glossy covers or T-shirts indicates to me that people do want printed papers. I know the Marquette Tribune's special print edition was flying off the newstands around campus, and I heard more people talking about it than I ever did about the online Tribune (which is updated several times a day whether there is an edition that day of the twice-weekly print Tribune.

As I'll openly admit, I'm a fan of print newspapers (try reading comics online only) and I think print newspapers are better teaching tools than online, especially in creating that informed public needed in a democracy.

So the question for the newspaper industry is: How do you translate that demand for the permanence of print we saw yesterday into continuing sales. Even more, how do you convince advertisers that this is the way to go? I don't have the answer (although if I were the Journal Sentinel I'd be telling all of my advertisers about the success of the McDonald's spadia wrapped around the front section of yesterday's paper).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More fallout from the election

Just as I noted last night about the sheer speed with which the world reported Barack Obama's election victory, others are reporting different aspects of how the media handled the election. One of the most interest is a nice package in Top Tech News, which reported on how the old media learned new tricks. Frankly, it's a good sign, if you believe there is value in journalistic values. An interesting story outlining a number of new ideas hitting old media.

U.S. News going monthly

U.S. News and World Report, which has been published bi-monthly (before June, it was weekly), is going to a monthly schedule as the wave of cutbacks in publication continue. This trend is driven by spiraling costs of paper, and it won't be the last magazine to cut editions or to follow Rolling Stone, which went to a smaller format.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's a new world out there

After President-Elect Obama's speech 10 minutes ago, I quickly swept around the world, viewing how the rest of the world reported this. Top story on every news site I sampled, from London's Guardian to Argentina's Diario El Dia to the Asian Times to Melbourne's Age to the Middle East's Al Jeezra, for every one, their top story was America's  election, most of them already reflecting his speech within minutes after the actual speech. Never was the strength, speed and power of the new media reflected.  It's a new world out there.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Newspaper web sites have record audiences

There's more evidence that newspapers still have cachet as a concept. A special report by Nielsen showed record audiences for newspaper web sites. Clearly the public perceives a value in news collected by newspapers -- and that hasn't changed. Now, if newspapers don't kill that perception by cutting staff too much . . .