Friday, December 11, 2009

Today Show interview of woman who claims to have had sex with Tiger Woods: How depressing can things get in journalism?

When the Today show interviews a woman who "claims" she had sex with Tiger Woods, there can't be any confusion over why the public thinks so poorly of journalism.

How can a show that interviews presidents spend its time asking a woman about her alleged relationship with Tiger Woods?

Depressing. To put it mildly.

Why would people call for a boycott of a guy like Don Imus and then think it's worth going on the Today show? Ratings can be the only explanation.

Rest in peace, E&P: Killed by an aggregator

As someone who has experienced the death of his own publication, my heart goes out to the folks at Editor & Publisher, especially Joe Strupp, who always approached coverage of the newspaper industry with passion.
But perhaps there's a lesson in what happened to the industry trade magazine that other journalists should take seriously.

In 2006, I wrote a blog post with the headline, "Why Editor & Publisher has become irrelevant."

Three years later, it's dead.

It's easy to underestimate the power of aggregation. But the truth, in my view, is that Romenesko replaced Editor & Publisher long ago as the place where journalists turned to find out what was going on in their world. It's not limited by one medium or industry. It's timely. And it's deep. The magazine couldn't compete. And it's not just Romenesko. There are many sites and blogs to turn to today to learn what's going on in journalism. Which is why E&P couldn't survive as a viable business. I know many would like to think that the same thing couldn't happen to other publications. I wouldn't if I were them.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Two good articles give vision for successful news Web sites

Data about customers.

Seems like such an obvious answer to the needs of news organizations looking for ways to be successful online.

Two recent articles, I think, provide direction for news organizations trying to find their way in this era.

The first comes from The New York Times.

The headline on the article is: The Data That Turns Browsing to Buying

The article, by STEVE LOHR, begins:

"NEXT JUMP may well be the most intriguing Internet business that you’ve never heard of — though that’s likely to change as the company seeks a wider audience.

"The handful of industry analysts who were invited into the company’s New York offices recently have come away impressed. Next Jump, they say, represents the future of online commerce and could emerge as a counterweight to Amazon, the giant Web merchant. And this patiently gestated start-up, they add, shows one path to the still-elusive promise of Internet advertising: using data to greatly improve the efficiency of marketing."

How many newspaper companies can say they're using microtargeting data to greatly improve the efficiency of the marketing services they're offering advertisers?

The other article is from It contains the text of the speech given by Matt Kelly, associate editor of Britain's Daily Mirror, to the World Newspaper Congress.

His talk makes clear why the first article is so important.

"The associate editor of the Mirror says we have to put journalism first and search engines second," the headline says.

His speech is a worthwhile read that makes one critical point. Not all traffic is created equal. It matters who's reading your content, not just how many people are reading it.

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