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: blogs, newspapers, online, print
Companies: philadelphia inquirer


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2008 @ 9:37am

    "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.

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