A Newspaper Comeback Plan

Pat Holt of Holt Uncensored decries the plummeting of print newspaper sales, and offers several serious suggestions to publishers.

"After our 30-year honeymoon with computers, and 20 solid years on the Internet, people are getting tired of screens and starting to miss the newsprint experience. It’s time for newspapers to earn their way back into readers’ minds and pocketbooks. Here are some suggestions:

Fight for Your Paper - Everybody’s waiting for publishers to do something — to, in the first place, define the benefits of newspapers that computers can’t offer. If you run a newspaper, the time has come to get out there and tell readers: Our paper publishes the kind of stories in print that you can’t find on the Internet.

This means that the newsprint version will be different from the website version, so you have to believe in it. If you don’t think that newspapers are far ahead of the Internet in key ways, get outta the biz."



- Not up to date
This is the biggest problem I personally have with newspapers, by the time you might get to read a paper (even a daily paper you might not get until you're on your way home but just assume you get it in the morning on the way to work) it is out of date. You probably saw what was being said on Breakfast tv that morning, if not the night before, and thats ignoring what you might have seen online.
Also my main news outlet, BBC News has no banners, no pop-up's or ads.
If I've already heard pundits or the people in power already commenting/responding to these things why would I want to know just the basics of the story in a paper?
It's not even the cost, of course news online is free but I'd be happy to pay for a paper if it's worthwhile.

'Invest in In-Depth Articles'

Very important. Too often these days the news is just the AP copy in a slightly different manner. You need to search for the news, not just wait for it to come along. In depth exposes are a very good example of what is good about newspapers.

'I can’t believe how often a fascinating chart or map appears on the Internet but is too big to fit on the computer screen. The only option is to explore it in sections, which the computer enlarges for you, but I’m always disappointed that I can’t see the big picture.'

Can't say thats been an issue for me for many years. Maybe it's that persons monitor that is too small? Often pictures will be small on the screen then you click on them to expand, but I don't think I've ever had a news outlet have a picture that was too big. Stuck inside a strangely formatted webpage yes (CNN esp) but too big? Don't think so.
And if you're talking about size I can't lay out a broadsheet newspaper on my desk, I don't have room, in fact even an open tabloid format newspaper might not fit really as it's draped over my keyboard. I don't have a breakfast nook or kitchen table with it's attendant space to read a paper on.

Some very gooid point, as compare to the lower article: A Newspaper Comeback Plan which seems to think readers are idiots.

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