Washington Post Just Discovers That Web Reporters And Paper Reporters Can Work Together?

from the uh,-seriously? dept

Nearly a year and a half ago, we were surprised to find out that the NY Times still kept its newspaper reporters and its online reporters separate -- and had finally agreed to merge the two operations. It only seemed newsworthy in the fact that it was so far behind the times. Apparently, though, when it comes to journalistic endeavors, they were on the cutting edge. Today comes the news that the Washington Post has finally decided to do the same thing and merge its online operations with its paper operations. What's even more surprising about this is that the Washington Post was actually one of the earliest newspapers to go online. They had a great online presence called "Newsbytes" that had a strong following, but disappeared literally overnight, breaking a ton of incoming links, when some higher ups at the paper wanted everything to go behind a registration wall. The Washington Post has continued to experiment with different online formats -- but the fact that they would just now think of combining news rooms suggests just how out of touch they are with how the news actually works these days. Update: Robert MacMillan, the author of the original piece (and a former Newsbytes and Washington Post reporter) stops by to let us know this is even less than it appears to be. They're still keeping the two divisions separate, but are simply blurring some of the boundaries between them -- though, the specific plans are still in the air.

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  1. identicon
    Tyshaun, 3 Jan 2007 @ 9:25am

    Re: Newpaper biz..

    I agree with the general point that it seems a bit counter-intuitive to have seperate web and paper staff at the post however, let's not beat down on them or any other "old school" media outlet. Even today we can find plenty of examples of organizations slow to fully include current technologies and technological paradigms (like telacommuting). Part of this is culture and fear, however, part of it is just good business. I know the big buzz word is innovation and stuff but big businesses mantra is still "generate a profit". Anything that can potentially interfere with that profit generation (like changing the corporate structure or job responsibilities) will, and should, be viewed with skepticism and approached cautiously.

    and now for something completely different...

    Rex Dixon said:

    Shawn Fanning and company exposed that music is something universal and should be shared in 1999.

    Now, as tough as this may be, take a look at MP3 from the standpoint of any big music conglomerate. What good is in it for them? If anything full acceptance of MP3s WILL affect their bottom line because customers will have a music format that is easily distributable to others with no additional costs. This is a problem that never existed pre-digital (sure you could make copies of a tape, but you had to buy a tape and the process was labor intensive).

    My point is that MP3s are great for the consumer but aside from the anecdotal experience of a few companies, they could be the death blow to music companies. I will also put for a hypothesis, without any evidence other than my own opinion, that the proliferation of MP3 and digital distribution has sped up the dilution of music. Whereas music companies used to be the gate keepers of most music now anyone with a computer can be a musician. Some would say that's good, others like me would argue that will eventually lead to the increasingly mediocre music being passed off as quality.

    In my perfect world we'd have a completely different paradigm for DRM. One where some unique ID of the buyer would be the key to use the file, not some weird hardware specific restriction. That way we'd design devices that would authenticate to a user and the music itself could be used on any device. This would be great for consumers because they could use their music how they want and good for the music companies because they don't have to worry about illegal file distribution.

    Just a rant and thought...

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