As a former copy editor, one whose job was deemed to be redundant, I can’t resist sharing this. Writing for Columbia Journalism Review, Craig Silverman argues that fewer copy editors means more errors — and a subsequent loss of journalistic credibility. And he explains how the new news economy is exacerbating this problem:
Among other duties—too many other duties, if you ask me—copy editors are charged with eliminating grammatical, spelling, and factual errors. So, yes, fewer copy editors should result in more errors. But there are other factors at play during this moment in journalism, and they’re further complicating the math.
At the same time papers are thinning the ranks of copy editors, they are also increasing the amount of content being produced. Copy editors used to focus on a print edition. Now they have to deal with breaking news for the Web site, blogs, and other online content. Fewer copy editors are doing more work than ever before. On top of that, fewer reporters—they’re far from immune to layoffs and buyouts—are expected to produce more writing and reporting.
This is where the math gets fuzzy. Or perhaps frightening.
In the new newsroom equation, fewer copy editors and fewer reporters are required to produce more work at the same level of quality.
Maybe I’m being overly sensitive, but the back-page headline from today’s tbt* sure seems to be teetering on the edge of offensiveness.
Yes, the deck offers some context to the use of the word “primal,” but considering that it’s clearly being used in the sense of “primitive” and not “original,” and in light of the accompanying photo, I’d say “Primal Time” betrays of lack of good taste and judgment.
A couple of articles worth your while regarding the financial troubles of newspaper industry and what has brought them (in part) to this point:
The Fed shouldn’t save newspapers because they “are not too big to be allowed to fail.” (Newsosaur)
American journalism is in trouble because of “editors and reporters focused more on winning prizes or making television appearances.” (Walter Pincus, Columbia Journalism Review)
Posted in media criticism, news industry, Newspaper industry, newspapers, Out of print, Print Journalism
Tagged Alan Mutter, Columbia Journalism Review, Journalism, news industry, Newsosaur, Newspaper industry, newspapers, Walter Pincus
Alan Mutter explains why newspapers have it all over Amazon’s recently released Kindle DX, a larger version of the electronic tablet.
Nothing beats the convenience and portability of a well-organized newspaper.
A newspaper requires no batteries or AC current, can be read anyplace in all-but-blackout conditions, can be folded (unlike a jumbo Kindle) for convenient transport, can be clipped for coupons, can catch canary poop and can be responsibly recycled into cute flower pots (see below) in a way that electronic detritus cannot.
Plus, you can’t smash a bug with Kindle.
Mathew Ingram looks at the brand new Google News Timeline and wonders: Why can’t newspapers exhibit this kind of creativity?
Google News Timeline is very impressive, offering users the abililty to look at news by days, weeks, months, years and even decades in a visually appealing column format. You can also refine your search according to a particular news source.
I know what you’re thinking (cause I”m clairvoyant like that): “Not again. Not another post on how to save newspapers.” Ah, but this one is pretty darn good, tapping into the wisdom of 10 experts who offer advice on how to keep the presses rolling. Here are a few of the highlights:
On reinventing the core product:
Leonsis: [Develop] a core competency in ad sales so that the organization can represent other local media companies to build scale and create mini advertising.com-like businesses in each market.
On the audience for newspapers:
Mutter: Editors and publishers need to adopt a zero-based, market-driven approach to what they do. They need to learn to ask their readers and nonreaders what they want—and then respond creatively to the answers.
On the role of the print product:
Hall: Print is good at the things the Web is not good at—watchdog, explanatory, enterprise, narrative storytelling. The two media complement one another. One is the flowing river, changing constantly; the other is the rock on the shore, fixed and solid.
On reinventing the newspaper to work in concert with online offerings:
Posted in civic journalism, investigative journalism, news industry, Newspaper industry, newspaper websites, newspapers, newsroom layoffs, print advertising, Print Journalism
Tagged Alan Jacobson, Alan Mutter, Charlotte H. Hall, Howard Weaver, Ken Doctor, Newspaper Association of America, Newspaper industry, newspapers, online advertising, Online journalism, print ads, Ted Leonsis
Enjoy the hard work of professional journalists while you can, online aggregators. Take one last bath in the million of dollars you’ve reaped from advertisements around content you didn’t create. Because if the folks behind Newspaper Project have their way, it’s likely your free ride will be over.
Publisher Randy Siegel talks to Columbia Journalism Review about the recently launched Newspaper Project, a coalition of newspaper executives endeavoring to share ideas about their industry vital.
Siegel, described by interviewer Megan Barber as the leader of the project, talks about the purpose of the organization, touts the value of professional journalism, and then throws down the gauntlet before the “information wants to be free” champions:
Posted in aggregation, news industry, Newspaper industry, newspapers, Online journalism, Print Journalism
Tagged aggregation, aggregators, Columbia Journalism Review, Megan Garber, Newspaper industry, Newspaper Project, newspapers, online aggregation, Print Journalism, Randy Siegel
As I sat down a little while ago to read the St. Pete Times sports section (yes, the print version), I glanced at the story about Michael Phelps and instantly realized something about my recent Web-surfing routine.
I’d already heard chatter about Phelps and “the photo,” both on the radio and through headlines on the Web. Last night, I found one local news site that had a linked headline to the Phelps story prominently displayed on its home page.
Never clicked on it. Didn’t care to.
Why? I wondered the same thing myself. And here’s what I’ve concluded: