LA Times Just Realized That Print And Online Newsrooms Should Be The Same?

from the a-bit-slow-on-the-uptake,-huh? dept

Nearly three years ago, we were surprised to hear the NY Times proudly announce that it was going to merge its online and offline newsrooms. What we couldn't believe was that in 2005 a newspaper actually still had thought it made sense to treat the two separately. However, apparently the Times was way ahead of some other newspapers. Buried in the ho-hum news about massive LA Times layoffs is the news that, as part of this reorganization, it's finally going to merge its web and print operations as well. When you're sitting around wondering where newspapers went wrong, the fact that they wanted to keep web and print operations separate is probably a good place to start.


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  1.  
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    Cassius Seeley, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 4:57am

    Hmmm very interesting. Alternative news weeklies have known this for some time. The Salt Lake City Weekly for example has been doing this for roughly the last 12 years. Imagine that :) http://www.slweekly.com. I am totally biased because I used to work for them.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    Most of the writers from the print side are probably pissed because now they have to learn to use the computer instead of their trusty old typewriter.

     

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  3.  
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    John Wilson, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 7:24am

    It's just a passing fad, you know

    This internet and World Wide Web thing is just a passing fad, you know.

    Why would anyone read on a small screen instead of a broadsheet and have the comfort of ink on their fingers?

    And just how do you use the internet to wash your windows? :-)

    ttfn

    John

     

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  4.  
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    anne, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 8:46am

    The Los Angeles Times didn't lose the war for readers because of their website presence. The Times lost the battle in 2000 when the Chandler family sold their controlling interest in the paper to the Tribune company of - ta da - Chicago.

    Immediately, the focus of front page, left-hand column news stories switched from in-depth local interest to - Midwest, East Coast and after a time, irrelevant international stories. They meant nothing to me. I don't want to read about the struggle for economic survival in Detroit, on an in-depth first-person level. Those stories should have remained with a Los Angeles focus. As a former Times subscriber, I speak from personal experience.

    After a while, the web changed my news reading habits. I now have a Google home page customized for my interests - Time Mag, Newsweek, CBC, BBC and CNN, Techdirt, as well as some local Canadian newspaper websites. I have no reason to ever subscribe to a paper newspaper, ever again in my life.

    There was another simpler change that caused me to stop buying the Times at the newsstand, after I had cancelled my subscription. The news rack price doubled to 50 cents. When the price was still a quarter, I had the habit of grabbing a Times and reading it while I ate a meal in a restaurant. At 50 cents, which I certainly could still afford, it just wasn't worth digging in my pocket for the extra quarter to buy a newspaper. Instead, I'd read the one left behind by other diners.

    Now I scope out the news headlines on my wi-fi Smart Phone while I'm eating in a restaurant. My hands never get dirty with newsprint. Ultimately, these are not battles that the Times is positioned to win. They have lost the hearts and loyalty of former subscribers and paying customers.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 11:43am

    Betcha a nickel that union issues were a big part of this. Many newspapers have different contracts with newsroom and new media staff.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 1:16pm

    Re: It's just a passing fad, you know

    "And just how do you use the internet to wash your windows? :-)"

    Simple, look up window washer's, make sure you have a credit card =p

     

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  7.  
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    illegalprelude, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    Theres the good ol patriotic American talk. Forget whats going on in the world, its just what effects me and thats all that matters.

     

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  8.  
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    necknemlh, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 3:01pm

    Re: It's just a passing fad, you know

    It just may be that the internet, like a virus, will create a society too weak to defend itself from threat of internal collapse. As products of a technopolized society, we lose the process of thinking and memory. Our libraries, containing better information than we are able to access on the Internet, will grow obsolete and with that the wisdom that could see us through an age of mistaken priority.
    We leave an age of wisdom and enter a world of "information" where one man's information is as good as another. All of the facile tricks leave us to believe we are at ease in Zion.

     

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  9.  
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    anne, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re:

    If the comment was directed at me, that's fine, but I have always been extremely interested and knowledgeable about local, national and international events, trends and what regular people are living through at any given point in time.

    My point about the woes of Detroit was simple - those intensive, and important stories, are fine for national news magazines, but after the LA Times became a Chicago tribune property, the paper completely abandoned their rich and award-winning history of in-depth local stories, about our our own local residents and communities.

    That was why I quit subscribing to the LA Times. I didn't mean to imply that the suffering of Detroit residents wasn't important, just that the primary news focus of a local newspaper should be the community it serves.

     

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  10.  
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    Cindy Cotter, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 11:09pm

    Re: Re: It's just a passing fad, you know

    "It just may be that the internet, like a virus, will create a society too weak to defend itself from threat of internal collapse. As products of a technopolized society, we lose the process of thinking and memory."

    I'm old enough to have lived much of my adult life without the internet. With is way better. Really. The internet doesn't disable people, it opens worlds. I find books I would never have heard of otherwise, and I can buy them online easily. I have diagnosed health problems that doctor's missed, and have caught problems with prescribed medicines. When I wanted to homeschool, I read the education laws myself and didn't need to rely on the local public school authorities who were either ignorant or antagonistic and routinely misinformed people about their rights. I have connected with people all over the world whom I would never otherwise have met.

    I trust my own experience with the internet more than speculation and theory, and my experience tells me I have been strengthened, not weakened, by "technopolization."

     

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