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Monday, September 24, 2007

Optimistic forecast for "online newspapers"

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2007 at 11:09 AM

From the The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh:

Jewish Journal:New York magazine has a profile this week of Matt Drudge of the DrudgeReport, and they call him "America's Most Influential Journalist." Whathave bloggers like Drudge done to journalism, and how do you think itcompares to the muckrakers that you came of age with?

Seymour Hersh: There is an enormous change taking place in this country injournalism. And it is online. We are eventually -- and I hate to tellthis to The New York Times or the Washington Post -- we are going tohave online newspapers, and they are going to be spectacular. And theyare really going to cut into daily journalism.

I've been working for The New Yorker recently since '93. In thebeginning, not that long ago, when I had a big story you made a goodeffort to get the Associated Press and UPI and The New York Times towrite little stories about what you are writing about. Couldn't careless now. It doesn't matter, because I'll write a story, and The NewYorker will get hundreds of thousands, if not many more, of hits in thenext day. Once it's online, we just get flooded.

So, we have a vibrant, new way of communicating in America. We haven'tcome to terms with it. I don't think much of a lot of the stuff that isout there. But there are a lot of people doing very, very good stuff.

I think he's right.

And I think it bears repeating that for newspapers to succeed online, they need to have quality local content, not just rehashed wire stories. This MarketWatch column sums it up nicely. "There are too many bloated newspapers," writes John Dvorak.

The only papers or news organizations that can expect to survive willbe those with lots of original content available only at theirindividual sites. The operations that rely more on universallyavailable news feeds will be at the mercy of a fickle public — onethat doesn't care where they read a particular story, especially if itis the exact same story with the exact same headline.

I found both of these stories on Romenesko. Where else?

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About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired as a staff writer in 2005, she became the publication's first online editor in 2007.

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