Younger readers dump newspapers in favor of the Web

Concerned that young readers—in the 18-to-34-year-old bracket—are unsubscribing at a clip of about 4,000 readers a month, the Washington Post conducted focus groups to find out why. They learned these readers wouldn’t take a subscription even if it was free, mainly because they don’t want stacks of old newspapers collecting around the house. It just doesn’t make sense to them when they can get the same information on the Web. The focus group results synch up nicely with a September study by the Online News Association that shows 46% of the 18-to-34 demographic will go online while only 3% would read a newspaper. It’s time for the… Read More »

Legitimizing blogs as journalism

The Association for the Advance of Science is no slouch of an organization. When they present their awards for science journalism, they’re looking at serious issues in legitimate media. Those who insist blogs are poised to grow into a mature medium can take heart that The Loom, a blog covering technology and science, won one of the awards for a three-part series.

Thanks to Steve Outing’s post to Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits for the lead.

Do blogs make it hard for mainstream media to sit on a story?

Wonkette’s Ana Marie Cox makes no apologies for posting exit poll results, even though mainstream media avoids the practice for fear of swaying election outcomes. Cox told the Online News Association, meeting in Los Angeles, that bloggers who provide information readers want make it harder for news outlets to sit on a story. Still, Online Journalism Review’s Mark Glaser told the conference that bloggers are struggling to gain credibility. Wired News has the AP story.

Can a personal Web site save a journalist’s life?

Sree Sreenivasan, a professor at Columbia, has been pitching journalists for three years now to develop their own personal Web sites. In the latest installment, on Poynter Online, he notes that Australian journalist John Martinkus was able to establish through a Google search that he was, indeed, a professional journalist, prompting his Iraqi kidnappers to release him. Sreenivasan also points to Adam Nagourney, a New York Times political reporters, who appears to be the victim of a fake blog produced in his name.

Of course, I am not saying having a personal site will save your life or prevent pranksters from having a good time pretending…

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Camera phones get the picture

By the time news photographers got to the scene of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh’s murder, the victim’s body had been covered. Fortunately for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Aron Boskma—just some guy with a camera-equipped cell phone—happened to be passing by and snapped a picture of the body with a knife protruding from it. The newspaper was the only one to carry a photo of the body.

There’s nothing new about amateurs selling pictures or video to the media, but these were limited to amateurs who happened to have a camera or video recorder. Now that the device is built into the common cell phone, we can expect to see a lot more photos… Read More »

Google News, blogs force traditional news site to open up

The Wall Street Journal’s online edition will be available free for five days beginning November 8. The New York Times is making online content available that used to be “walled-off.” It’s not alone, according to Frank Barnako’s Internet Daily. Citing an article by Mark Glaser in the Online Journalism Review, Barnako notes that the increasing openness of news through non-traditional sources has forced the issue. Blogs that cover news, along with Google News, have been a warning shot across the bow of traditional journalism. According to Richard Deverell, head of BBC News Interactive, “We either try to reverse that trend, which is likely… Read More »

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