Journalism News, JTM News

Journalism Needs a Bailout?

Submitted by Steve Hanson on Thu, 03/26/2009 – 6:59am

John Nicholls and Robert W. McChesney published a rather fascinating article in The Nation this week, suggesting that the answer to the newspaper death spiral is a government bailout – a combination of free postage, subsidies, and other means to economically support media and reporting in the US.  I’m not sure how I personally feel about this idea- it grates against all my instincts, yet it’s at least a proposal that I can believe would be more likely to have a positive effect than most.

On another note – from the local Wisconsin viewpoint, two of our state local papers are cutting Mondays out of their publication schedule. And so journalism continues to die by a thousand papercuts.

Journalism News, JTM News

Joel Kramer: Lessons I’ve learned after a year running MinnPost

Submitted by Steve Hanson on Thu, 03/19/2009 – 6:22pm

Some interesting observations from Joel Kramer at MinnPost and the Nieman Labs.

Joel Kramer: Lessons I’ve learned after a year running MinnPost

[As we mentioned earlier, the next issue of Nieman Reports is almost ready to be unveiled. On Monday, we gave you a sneak peak at one of its articles, by St. Louis Beacon editor Margaret Wolf Freivogel.

We’ve got one more story to share before the rest of the issue goes online at Nieman Reports’ web site. This one comes from one of the brightest stars in the news-startup firmament: Joel Kramer, former editor and publisher of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and now founder of MinnPost. Here, Joel reflects on what he’s learned in MinnPost’s first year-plus. —Ed.]

A lot of pixels are being spilled these days reflecting on the future of newspapers, news, journalists, and journalism. I spent my career in newspapers, first as a journalist and later as a publisher, and I left when the business was financially near its peak. With the for-profit model now shriveling, I’ve spent the past 16 months trying to build one example of what might be coming next—a not-for-profit enterprise providing high-quality regional journalism on the web.

Here are some reflections from that battlefield.

MinnPost is a certain kind of nonprofit journalism enterprise — one that aims to eventually break even on operating revenues, such as advertising, sponsorship, membership and perhaps other sources such as syndication.

This is different from a pure philanthropic endeavor, like ProPublica, which (at least in its current plan) depends for its success on the continuing generosity of foundations or very large individual donors.

Journalism News, JTM News

Online News Judged as Reliable as Newspapers

Submitted by Steve Hanson on Thu, 03/05/2009 – 11:11am

recent Rasmussen Reports Survey indicates that most people now believe that online news sources are at least as reliable as newspapers.  Notably, it also reports that only 30% of adults read a paper almost every day, and that among younger people the rate is half that.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of Americans say they go online and use the Internet every day or nearly every day, and most of those adults now find online reporting comparable to that in their local newspaper. Seventy-four percent (74%) of these daily Internet users say that reporting from web sources is at least somewhat reliable while 69% say the same about local newspaper reporting.



My Father

Submitted by sharkscott on Thu, 03/05/2009 – 11:54am.

My Father, a self professed “I don’t really use computers for anything” guy, is now going online to get the news when he is travelling or out of town, and it has caused him to actually put a computer on his desk at home now because he can get the news he wants faster and easier than sifting through the paper.

I asked him if he can see any difference in the quality, he didn’t understand what I meant..and there was my answer. To him, there is no difference.

He does understand that not every site is as good as every other, but to him that falls right in line with being choosy with what, who and where you get your news from. Which he does/did with regular media before going online.

When someone like my Dad switches over to reading the news online and either doesn’t care or doesn’t notice any difference quality, that says everything to me. My Father may not be technologically savvy, but he is one of the smartest people I have ever known and if he doesn’t see a difference, then there really must not be that big of one.