Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why editors need to take the word "news" out of newspapers

Today was another example of newspapers trumpeting stale news on their front pages, reinforcing the impression that there's no point in reading them because they're so far behind in reporting what's happening.

USA Today lead headline: Obama sharpens response on Iran
Wall Street Journal above the fold: Obama rips Iran in Tactical shift
New York Times lead headline: Obama condemns Iran's iron fist against protests
Denver Post (bottom right using a McClatchy Newspapers story): Obama condemns Iran's crackdown, lauds protesters

This "news" in Wednesday's editions comes from a midday (Eastern Time) news conference on Tuesday. I heard it through the day on the radio and TV and read many updates on the Web, including on some of these papers' sites. Yet, still, this is what editors decide to deliver the next morning.

I worry how damaging this is for the future of newspapers. The first thing I read most mornings is the WSJ news digest on the the front page. It's truly useful because it gives me a good sense of what happened in the intervening 24 hours. But I'm not interested in a longer story about something I already know about unless it truly takes me into new territory.

I think the insistence on sticking with a conventional approach to news could be one of the factors that will drive newspapers into the ground - except for those loyalists who just can't give up on reading a paper. Maybe that's a rational approach to running a business, but it sure is dull and it sure doesn't seem to demand much from the newspaper or its staff.


  1. What does "select profile" mean?

  2. Where do you see select profile? Is this when you try to post a comment?

  3. Yes.
    For me, posting is not a problem as I have:
    Google Account

    For a noob who has none of these, this is a HUGE barrier.

  4. And, the TypePad (which has replaced TypeKey) id does not work.
    It puts (TypePad) in the pulldown list and then I "illegal characters in the URL".

  5. WordPress does not work for me either.
    And AOL is now Bebo and requires a new login. And a very painful process to switch from AIM to Bebo.

  6. Hi Dave Barnes,
    I think you are right.word press is not working for me also..

    r4 card

  7. A Great Post!

  8. Wonderful Post!

  9. Hi , I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my website

  10. Your credit officer might know about an exceptional high hazard advance that you would meet all requirements for. In any event, your financier may know of another loan specialist around the local area that may have the capacity to help you. In any occasion, converse with your bank first before you go looking somewhere else. auto title loans online chicago

    Jordan University