If you wanted to point out all the things newspapers have gotten wrong in the age of the internet, you wouldn't have to look too far. Newspapers have pretty much across the board, been bereft of good ideas on how to compete, whether it's in the stories they cover and how they cover them, or in the classifieds. But the online edition of today's Austin American-Statesman business section takes the cake in ineptitude: republishing ten stories that range from a few months to a few years old, noting that they are in fact being republished, but never explaining why. Perhaps it's a ploy to drive print edition sales -- I was assuming something was missing, so I went and picked up a printed copy. In the four-page section (which featured all wire stories -- guess somebody didn't want to work Sunday night), none of the old stories appear, so of course there's no mention of why they've shown up online. Is reprinting old stories just the latest cost-cutting exercise? Or is putting them up without any context or explanation another misguided attempt to make use of the web? Given the Statesman's fascination with stupid registration schemes and pop-unders and other annoying ad formats, I'll bet on the latter. Oh, and by the way, you'll of course need BugMeNot to read those articles, and they'll go behind a paywall (again) in a week.
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