Print journalism is feeling the pinch as much or more than anyone. The Detroit Free Press has already canceled some home deliveries in favor of a going “paperless.” Bet that the move wasn’t their attempt at saving trees. Seattle’s Post Intelligence is not far behind. The unthinkable in print journalism – no actual print – is now on the drawing board for dailies across the country. What’s next, no home delivery?!?
The article follows a young Web journalist, Gabriel Dance, and a few other techie-types as they go from literally down the street from the NYT headquarters to side by side on the same floor with their in-print brethren. Previously dismissed, they find themselves now a crucial part of the business.
If there are readers who question these changes, the mood within the Times suggests that resistance dissolves with surprising swiftness. “Only history will judge whether we should have made the real-estate move we made—but that integration, when the web co-located with the people who made content for the paper, it came at a really opportune moment,” says David Carr, whose Oscars-season Carpetbagger blog was one of the earliest genre-breaking experiments at the website. “We were ready. And it also validated what we had all been thinking, which was, These guys are Timesmen. They have a different skill set, but they share objectives, standards. And behind that came lots of changing metrics on what constitutes success around here.”
Locally, OPUBCO has been promoting itself as a news gathering business (as opposed to a newspaper) for quite some time. Their products, including NewsOK.tv and NewsOK.com and WIMGO, are making the switch. Even though their standards remain high for digital entities, it still is an awkward phase. The NYT is experiencing the same adolescence.
The important thing to note is the word changed. As you Speak Up to your key audiences, remember that the recession is changing people’s behavior. Like the news gathering business, you better be running when the sun comes up, if only in cyberspace.