Philadelphia Inquirer Tells Staff Bloggers Not To Use Blogs To Test Story Ideas

from the artificial-scarcity... dept

When you’ve built a business based on artificial scarcity for years, and then suddenly find yourself in a much more competitive market, it’s no surprise that some of the ideas you come up with will be to run directly towards more artificial scarcity. That’s what the Philadelphia Inquirer appears to be doing with its new policy to not put many types of stories online until they hit the physical paper. This doesn’t apply to breaking news (thank goodness), but pretty much everything else: “investigative reporting, enterprise, trend stories, news features, and reviews of all sorts.” You can sort of understand why the paper would like to coordinate, though it does seem to treat online as a second class citizen. It also leads to one odd and highly questionable decision:

For our bloggers, especially, this may require a bit of an adjustment. Some of you like to try out ideas that end up as subjects of stories or columns in print first.

Apparently, that’s no longer allowed. Of course, for columnists, that’s one of the main advantages of having a blog. It lets you try out ideas, get feedback, and generally make the final product that much better. But apparently the Philadelphia Inquirer would rather come out with a lower quality product — as long as it all comes out at the same time.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: philadelphia inquirer

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Philadelphia Inquirer Tells Staff Bloggers Not To Use Blogs To Test Story Ideas”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

What if a writer makes a blog about a topic without ever intending to write about it, but the topic is much more interesting than they expected? This could happen with anything put into a blog.

They complain about the service they had at a big box retailer only to get hundreds of comments describing the same problem. Are they not allowed to write a story? There is a large grey area here.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Lower quality product”? You’re assuming that if they don’t try out ideas online they’re not trying them out at all. There are ways to get useful feedback outside the newspaper besides online. Good reporters have always done this. And honestly, from what I see of the quality of newspaper-site feedback, I can’t imagine it being all that helpful anyway — unless you’re the sort who like abuse and misinformation. The Inky, like most all newspapers, needs new ideas and has probably shot itself in the foot in some ways while trying to figure out online publishing, but I really don’t think this minor decision is one of them.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...