Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Improving the online newspaper, part 2

Speaking of how newspapers can get online right (see previous entry on The Miami Herald's latest offering), this column from Ted Vaden at the News & Observer of Raleigh, NC, on how the paper's online presence is improving, along with some discussion of why it isn't always perfect: Paper's future is online; is that good?
The emphasis on breaking news means that the paper's most important stories don't necessarily get front-page treatment on the Web site. During the site's busiest hours in the morning, you might see highlighted the car wreck or apartment fire that just happened instead of the investigative story that led that morning's paper.
...longtime N&O readers (say) that they resent all the references in the paper to additional information online because they don't use computers. I worry also about people of lesser means for whom the computer is not a part of their daily lives.

Best of all, though, of all the changes they are planning to the N&O's site, is this:
Creation of an online "Fact Finder" center that gives readers access to some of the information resources used by N&O reporters. Stored there now are databases on the 2007 local elections, global warming, the drought and Wake schools.

The N&O had one of the first and most innovative newspaper sites around, back in the pre-McClatchy days. The N&O research department had a great online database collection for their newsroom, years before most other papers did such things. Now it's great to hear that these resources are going to be available to readers. Other newspapers have been a bit ahead in making online databases of public records available.
How about The Herald?

(Added later:)
Bonus Link: In The Seattle Times, an interview with 'a couple of "old" journalists', Marianne Means and James Kilpatrick, by John Harner:
At a conference on the "new" journalism, I paid a visit to a couple of "old" journalists.
...Gazing out the window reflectively, he said: "The whole world's turned upside down. The big newspapers are in trouble. I don't know what the future holds."
..."Let's Google it," he said. So, the old lion still can hunt.
...As I left, I reflected on the fact that our conversation had encapsulated all of the issues debated at the "Journalism That Matters" meeting...

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  • Our world is in crisis - great post - thanks for your insight - together we can save our planet so future generations can enjoy it too!

    P. Lanet III
    Concerned Earth Dweller

    Is Global Warming A Scam...? Want to learn more?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 PM  

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