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Bloggers have it. Newspapers want it.

Posted by GNC at 6:58 AM on May 23, 2009

There are many articles comparing the pros and cons of physical print news versus the online/blogging news.  The following lists are not pros and cons but what each group has that the other side wants.  What could happen with the merging of the two?  Thanks to Tech Crunch for stirring my brain.

What Newspapers Have and Bloggers Want/Need:

  1. Bloggers have less official access to many press conferences and meetings. Who gets the press pass?  How do you get the press pass?  Will it not eventually recreate a few sources for news as different agencies pick and stick with favorites?  Newspapers made narrowing it down easy.
  2. covetBloggers have less incentive/time to investigate and search out multiples sources. Bloggers seem to surf the web not pound the streets and interview people face to face.  Newspapers live that way.
  3. Bloggers write about what interests them, not what interests others. With no boss giving assignments, who will report on those needed but sometimes mundane happenings?  Will we be stuck piecing together all of our news from 500 RSS feeds?  Newspapers make basic world, national, and local news easy.
  4. Bloggers are not the one “go to” place for news. Difficult to find a local blogger.  I do not know of a single blogger reporting on news in our area of 175,000 people .  I guess I would have to look if the paper shut down.
  5. Bloggers have less accountability/oversight to preserve the truth. I know, I know, that the community could police itself just like Wikipedia.  I’m not sure they will or really have the ability.  Besides, most people believe whatever they read and probably won’t go back to see any updates or corrections.

What Bloggers Have and Newspapers Want/Need:

  1. Print Media has a narrow chain of command that dictates what and when news is published. It is no wonder why dictator, communistic, and extreme governments want control of the media?  Why are news agencies tending to endorse political candidates? The news has been far from fair and balanced for a long, long time.  Blogs are more numerous, yield less individual influence, say what they think, and allow more free interaction.
  2. Print Media has a need to make a larger profit.  Bloggers hope to pay the bills.  There is nothing wrong with this.  It is the goal of every business owner to make money.  Why should newspapers be any different?  The problem is that it is a very low margin/no margin business that is about to go on a ventilator.  The motivation and ability to survive is decreasing.
  3. Print Media has a high overhead for getting the news to the reader. Ouch this is number one.  Manufacturing and delivery is expensive.  Presses are extremely expensive, paper is expensive, labor is expensive, management is expensive, delivery is expensive.   The web does it on the cheap.  I can deliver the same news to as many people for pennies on the dollar as a blogger.  And it won’t take much ad revenue to pay for that delivery.
  4. Print Media has few ways to guage how much of their content is read. The newspaper does not create a log file ever time my eyes read a certain article or ad.  Advertisers are left to subjective decisions on whether business increased because of the ad most of the time.  The web brings freedom and analytics.
  5. Print Media locks down the content and its distribution. There is no open source in this land.  Republish the AP article and receive a DMCA.  Everything is copyrighted.
  6. Print media now publishes old news. 24 hours is not soon enough.  12 hours is not soon enough.  2 hours is not soon enough.  What do you mean “The game was not finished as of press time”?  By the time your article reaches me 36 hours after the game, you have lost me.  I can visit a site, use an RSS reader to get the headlines, or subscribe to email updates and text alerts.  I do not even have to wait for the “top of the hour”, “quarter of the hour” news on the radio.

Enough of my opinion.  What is the real truth?  Will you, the community, let me know?  Are we really ready for this new world of news?