Monthly Archives: February 2005

More fretting over the ‘death of the newspaper’

Keyword: . Editor & Publisher reports on The Washington Post pondering the demise of print (demographics and lifestyle changes are said to be the real problem) at the same time as gives an overview of the same concerns, including the strange assertion in Press Gazette that internet TV news could spell the death not only of print, but of radio and TV news.

This sounds far too much like the doom-mongering for print that came with the introduction of both radio and TV news, and is still asserted with reference to the internet. The main danger to the future of print seems to be the extremely low investment in it as a business, but this is part of a wider commercialisation of news that the new trend in ‘citizen journalism’ seems to be addressing.

We’re living in a time of flux. Quite fascinating, really.

Where a good blog can take you

Keyword: . Granted, most of us don’t live in the middle of a war zone, but it’s heartening for bloggers everywhere that Salam Pax – the Baghdad Blogger – has won a Royal Television Society award for the programmes he made with Guardian Films and Newsnight. Added to the increasing success of Super Size Me-style documentaries it seems there’s a public (and awards panels) getting hungrier for independent, alternative viewpoints.

Another search tool

Keyword: . The Search Engine Journal sings the praises of TurboScout, a website that allows you to search a good dozen or so search engines – but not at the same time.

It’s a bit of a cheeky way to make some money – piggybacking on the search technologies of others – but could be attractive for those of us who don’t want to have to remember all those search engines and use them individually.

It would of course be useful if TurboScout told us which engines were good for what types of searches…

Readers want more video

Keyword: . That’s the upshot of this report from the Online Publisher’s Association, which also has the useful stats that,

“The largest proportion, 66 percent, report viewing streams of news and current events, while 49 percent see movie trailers, 29 percent eyeball music videos, and 27 percent check out sports highlights. Those figures might be somewhat skewed, however, because many of the sites included in the survey were online newspapers or magazines.”

Somehow, however, I can’t see publishers investing just to please these surfers.

Ignore at your peril: the beauty of the email newsletter

Keyword: . If you’re a news organisation with a website, there can be far better uses of your resources than creating an email newsletter. It creates a constant relationship with your audience, reminds them of your existence, and can even create a feedback loop that leads to better stories and more participation in discussion.

Radio 4’s The Message is one good example of this, with a weekly newsletter and email facility on its site (that’s pretty much it apart from audio of the last broadcast), and the BBC as a whole are very good for email updates – their sport section, for instance, allows you to receive email alerts for your favourite team. The Guardian have a number of email services for specialist areas such as media, football, cricket, travel, education, society and so on, which surely drive a significant amount of traffic to the site. And Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow co-authors their excellent Snowmail service, which adds a personal touch to the medium.

I could go on, but I’d rather wait for others to email me their recommendations…

UPDATE (Mar 7 05):