The future of newspapers: print v. digital

Time for another Short Takes:  Five articles worth reading that relate to journalism as it transforms.

Are staff cuts good news? That’s the provocative question Mathew Ingram asks at the Nieman Journalism Lab. This is the kind of post that can’t help but raise emotions. Pretty much anyone in journalism today knows someone who has lost a job recently, and it stinks. But I get that Ingram isn’t saying layoffs themselves are good. His point: Is the crisis in journalism forcing newspapers to change more than rapidly than they might otherwise. On that, I think he may be onto something. Would newspapers change without the crisis? Well, many didn’t.

Don’t stop the presses: Alan D. Mutter at Reflections of a Newsosaur says newspapers need to keep printing rather than go totally online if they want to stay in business: “The only ink-on-paper newspapers that can afford to attempt digital-only publishing are the ones that are irreversibly losing money.” He is responding in part to a December post by Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine that asserts the Los Angeles Times could go totally digital and still support its staff, with what he calls “cutbacks aplenty.” Both are smart reads.

Multimedia newsroom: So what would a truly digital newsroom look like? Jackie Hai’s Convergence Commons gives a glimpse by describing a college version of a Web-only news operation. She offers a great list of what the journalists of today (and tomorrow) will need to know how to do, including social networking, blogging and digital photojournalism.

Guest posting: Josh Klein, of Web Strategy, has a guest post on ProBlogger that aptly points out the value of guest posting on other people’s blogs. I’m a huge proponent of guest posting. And this posts tells you step by step how to do it. It’s worth a read for any journalist blogger who is trying to move into the new era.

Journalists as curators: I’ve heard that term a lot, but Mindy McAdams at Teaching Online Journalism really crystallizes what it means in a post from December. She compares the job to a museum curator and notes it involves, organizing, expertise, providing context, and updating. My favorite line: “It’s not important that each visitor stops at each display and reads each placard. Visitors can choose their own pace and their own level of intake.” True.


Gina

4 thoughts on “The future of newspapers: print v. digital

  1. Hi Gina – Glad you enjoyed the article, and thanks for pointing out these other interesting ones. I really like where Mindy went with the idea of curating (you can’t go wrong references Jeff Jarvis). Search engines are a weak replacement for human-expert filters.

  2. Josh,

    Thanks.

    Yes, I love the curating idea, too. I was discussing it today at my newspaper, hoping it catches on. It just makes a lot of sense.

  3. We need to keep printing! We shouldn’t go completely digital and allow printed materials to go obsolete. There’s nothing like flipping the pages of a newspaper or book with our fingers and being able to see shelves lined with our favorite reads.

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