Friday, May 25, 2012

NY Times Scoops Times-Picayune On Their Own Story

The New Orleans Times-Picayune will be making large staff cuts and then limiting their printings to Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.  All other news material will be on their website.  This will leave New Orleans as the largest city without a daily paper.

But what is truly amazing about this story is that it was not reported first in the Times-Picayune, but instead in the New York Times.  The Times got the scoop on a story about another newspaper, and so employees of the Picayune found out through sources other than their own paper.  That's pretty bad.

Now people have been discussing the demise of newspapers for quite a while, and I do have to say I have some concerns of who will be funding the investigative journalism that is done by the papers.  But what I also wonder is why newspapers have not tried some format changes.  I can't stand the fact that I begin a story on a-1 and then I have to go to a-9 and sometimes even then to other sections, and then I have to flip back to page a-1 again for another story and then to a-3, or c-3, to complete it.  One of the reasons that I stopped reading papers was because of this very thing, and reading it online was simply much easier because I can see a headline, click on it and read the whole article all in one place.  Much more convenient.

I'm not really sure at this point that even a format change will make a difference, but wonder why no one even tried to do something different by talking to the demographic group they needed to attract in order to survive.

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