The Web Is For Quickies And Paper Is For Long Term Commitment?

from the maybe,-maybe-not... dept

Jeremy Wagstaff has weighed in on the ongoing debate about what newspapers should do to survive in an online world, and has decided that newspapers need to treat the online world and the paper world differently. His suggestion is to create shorter content for online versions, while making the paper-based stories, longer and more in-depth. You can see where he’s coming from. Online reading is definitely conducive to short, quick pieces, and longer online pieces can often become difficult or annoying to read. However, it’s not clear if that’s always the case. There definitely would be value in having shorter pieces online, but if the article seems really interesting, it’s likely that plenty of people would want to read the whole thing — even if it is online. In fact, that might describe the perfect way for some news sites to use blogs. Have a blog giving a quick description of the sites’ own longer pieces in order to entice more people to read through the full piece. Right now, most people choose to read an article based on a headline, and maybe a quick blurb or intro text. A blog that entices readers to read the whole article or that gives some more information could be very useful. The San Jose Mercury News’ Silicon Beat already does this on some stories, but it doesn’t seem that common elsewhere.

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Comments on “The Web Is For Quickies And Paper Is For Long Term Commitment?”

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aNonMooseCowherd says:

disks are cheaper than massive amounts of paper

From a technical standpoint, doing it the other way makes more sense. Printing and delivering hundreds of thousands of copies of newspapers is expensive and environmentally wasteful, while disks are bandwidth are cheap, so it makes more sense to keep the longer versions online and print the shorter ones on paper for people who want to read news in places where they don’t have convenient online access.

MikeDriehorst (user link) says:

Re: disks are cheaper than massive amounts of pape

While you are right, I think generations of having printed newspapers will be difficult to change.
Old habits will be hard to break. I’m only 37, but still enjoy reading my Sunday newspaper more so than the online version. It’s just not the same.
Granted though, we don’t subscribe to the daily, just the Sunday edition. No time to read it daily, and can get my info online.
If the paper is recycled (and more communities are offering that), then the environmental concerns are diminished.
Generally speaking, people will only do something environmentally-good if there are other benefits (cost, convenience, etc.).

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