Former Newspaper Journalists Not Missing A Beat

from the journalism-lives-on dept

With the closing of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver recently, it renewed the talk from many about the death of journalism. But for some at the paper, there was no need to cry or worry, there was just moving forward. King Kaufman, who covers sports for Salon.com caught up with Tracy Ringolsby, a well-known sports writer who has covered the Colorado Rockies baseball team for years. When the RMN shut down on a Friday, he was back up and working that Monday on a blog called Inside the Rockies as if he'd never missed a beat. He and some colleagues had more or less expected the paper to close down, and simply figured this was the most natural thing to do. And, even though Ringolsby doesn't consider himself particularly internet savvy, he does seem to have a pretty good grasp of where this is all headed:
What I've always said, like when I speak to a journalism group or something, or students, and they ask me if it's a bleak future, I say, "I don't think it's a bleak future once they figure out what the future is." Once they figure out an economic system that works on the Internet, there's probably going to be more demand for writers than there's ever been, because we're the least expensive part of the newspaper anyhow.

I never felt the Internet was a threat. I felt in the long run it was going to be a positive for our business. I was just hoping we'd figure it out before we went through a major recession in the business. We didn't. You know, we didn't, so you move on. Look, I've got a daughter who's 29 years old who I think is fairly intelligent. She's about to get her MBA at SMU. I don't know that she's ever had newsprint on her fingers, but she keeps up with what's going on in the world.

So we can't always sit -- because I'm 58 years old -- and think that everything's supposed to be done the way that it's been done my whole life. I realize that things are changing and you have to be willing to make some adjustments with it.
Who knows if his new efforts will pan out or make him a living (he's got a separate gig on TV that will surely help pay the bills in the meantime), but it is really great to see journalists recognize that just because one newspaper goes out of business it doesn't mean "the end of journalism" and to recognize that the future is coming, and there's going to be plenty of opportunity going forward.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    ulle, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 1:54am

    It is sad to see the newspapers die, yes I know the reasons why and agree with them, but for me it still is sad. Back in the 1950s when I was a child our main source of news was either the radio or the newspaper, weekday evenings the family would gather around the radio for an hour or so before bedtime but sunday mornings were the best, the family would gather in the living room and divide up the paper devouring all the tidbits before heading of to church. My first real job was delivering papers on my bicycle, shoot in one year I made enough to buy my first motorcycle and I was just 10 though that only lasted a month after the sheriff caught me speeding in town, threw the bike in his trunk and hauled me home to confront my dad. I got a good whooping for that, oh well. The point is that at one time newspapers were an important part of peoples lives and though we march on in the name of progress, I for one still have those fond memories.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    JB, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 6:00am

    New Online Newspaper

    A bunch of RMN reporters are starting a new online newspaper, In Denver Times. They are taking subscriptions now and if they can get 50,000 paid subscribers by April 23 they will go live.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 6:04am

    Notices like "Reporters, editors and photographers at the _____ prepared their final contributions to the paper, toasted one another with shots of Wild Turkey and packed up their desks in an "eerily clean" newsroom as the final edition of the paper went to the presses" are becoming increasing familiar as the know it all, self centered, argent pundit bobs increasingly float down to earth from their lofty perch of self-righteous totalitarian despotism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 6:14am

    I wonder how many organizations will choose to enforce their "bloggers aren't journalists" rules and not give him press credentials?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    eric, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 6:21am

    incredible opportunity

    the goal for all remaining mainstream media journalists should be to jump ship NOW. accept the future that hanging on for one of the 10% of the jobs that will remain isnt worth losing the first mover advantage in the upcoming violently altered ecosystem.

    you will be happier and better prepared without the nagging doubt of a future controlled by your fading corporate overlords.

    do that or risk being left behind. you have been warned.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    eclecticdave (profile), Mar 17th, 2009 @ 6:51am

    Re: (Press Credentials)

    > I wonder how many organizations will choose to enforce their "bloggers aren't journalists" rules and not give him press credentials?

    Press credentials in their current form are as much old-school as the rest of the newspaper industry. There's no reason why bloggers who have established a good reputation couldn't negotiate with companies to gain entry to events and press conferences.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    3N, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    RE: New Online Newspaper

    It is indeed encouraging to see journalist who are progressing with the rest of the economy to e-commerce model of business.

    I do not see a sustainable model for regional news outlets charging subscription fees for content. This model works only when the user's perceived value of the news content is of commercial value to him/her. In the case of local stories it wouldn't be the case - a user can simply watch local news / radio etc.

    If any outlet aims to charge subscription fees, then they must provide rich - value added content (such as reports, research) etc to entice subscribers; a model that works for Wall Street Journal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Death of newspapers

    Right on, Mike!
    I will add, though, that if you are an avid history buff, as I am (those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it - don't know where that quote is from, but it is very true!) you know that change brings pain first, then opportunity.
    Anyone who disagrees that change normally brings increased opportunity simply doesn't know history - anyone who thinks it will be painless is totally ignorant of history!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2009 @ 3:15am

    This paragraph seems to suffer from a bit of incoherency:

    "King Kaufman, who covers sports for Salon.com caught up with Tracy Ringolsby, a well-known sports writer who has covered the Colorado Rockies baseball team for years. When the RMN shut down on a Friday, he was back up and working that Monday on a blog called Inside the Rockies as if he'd never missed a beat. He and some colleagues had more or less expected the paper to close down, and simply figured this was the most natural thing to do. And, even though Ringolsby doesn't consider himself particularly internet savvy..."

    Primarily regarding the gender of the sports writer, for whom a female name and then male pronouns are apparently used.

    Clarification may be in order here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This