When the Interstate 35 bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, where/when/how did you learn of it? I was sitting at the computer, and the television was on in the same room. I first heard via Bloglines — a Minnesotan posted asking for updates on all local regulars. Second, I saw it on Etsy‘s forums. Both of these were well ahead of network television news, which later broke into programming to report the tragedy.
After this happened, I was thinking back, and I think I’ve learned other breaking national news from non-news sources online, not from TV, including the Virginia Tech massacre. Of course, newspapers don’t even figure into the equation, as I wrote here in April.
I believe there is still a place for newspapers in daily life, but newspapers (and the companies that own them — see here for a piece about Rupert Murdoch’s buyout of the Wall Street Journal) need to be enlarging their online presence, in new and creative ways.
The traditional newspaper, especially in large markets, is troubled. Here’s another example:
We all knew big layoffs were coming at the San Francisco Chronicle, but I had hoped that they’d try to keep at least one of the business/tech writers that is responsible for my occasional purchase of a copy of the paper. No luck.
The paper that is losing $1 million per week could fire every journalist it has on staff and still not break even. But that hasn’t stopped them from trying. 80 reporters, photographers and copy editors plus 20 in management will be gone by end of summer.
And the best reporters aren’t waiting around to see who gets laid off. They are walking out the door, into better jobs.
The entire article is here.
New media is where it (the news, and the audience) is at.