Friday, December 16, 2011

Journal Sentinel paywall coming soon

Early word from inside the company says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will join the growing number of newspapers with paywalls in January, perhaps as soon as the first week of the year.

Word is that home subscription charges will rise, but will offer free access to all the newspaper's online sites (except, perhaps, Packer Plus, it's wildly successful section devoted to all-Packers, all-the-time). Non-subscribers will presumably get a few free stories, but will need to pay for more than a token number. At the New York Times, the cutoff is 20; the Chicago Sun-Times cutoff is a charge after 20 free page views.

3 trends that changed the 'journalism landscape'

I find myself once again touting a post on the Nieman Journalism Lab site. Today, Ken Doctor talks about three trends that he said "profoundly changed the journalism landscape this year."

He's correct in singling out the tablet, the dawn of digital circulation and "social curation" (which Doctor defines as " social intelligence, gleaned from mountains of data . . . becoming a required part of the companies’ product development and consumer experience" with Facebook as its leader).

It's an interesting take on the future, which is more and more becoming the present.

Here's a product I won't use

Here's an announcement of a product that I don't intend to use. The Associated Press says it has a tool that will automatically correct your writing for AP style.

I don't intend to use it for the same reason I don't use Microsoft Word's automatic spelling and grammar checking software -- it's often inaccurate. Yes, I run everything (including posts on this blog) through the software. That's especially important since I think editing on computers is much less accurate than editing on paper. But looking back at some past posts proves my point: some have spelling and grammar errors even though the software checked them. If I use the wrong form of "its" or "to, too, two"), the computer doesn't blink.

Automatic checks for AP style will catch many of the mistakes, but it'll miss many others and give writers a false sense of security -- just as does spellcheck.