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  • Cheap and easy video for independent newspaper sites « Breaking News
    October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 November 2007 October 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 Blogroll Development Blog Documentation DreamHost Blog Plugins Suggest Ideas Support Forum Themes Mapping The Story Home Beware of turtle necked strangers bearing gifts or The iPad is a many edged device Cheap and easy video for independent newspaper sites By

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=247 (2014-10-09)
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  • If you outsource print production, are you still a newspaper? « Breaking News
    Schmuck He was half joking but there was an ugly edge to his voice and no wonder The Toronto Star the largest daily newspaper in Canada had just announced that it was considering outsourcing all of it s print production copy editing page building image services and pre press Printing had already been in sourced to a subsidiary The restructuring would trash one out of every three jobs in The Star newsroom The new CMS wasn t the cause of this outsourcing but it sure will make it easier So we re the schmucks As we drove away I thought about it A newsroom without copy editors Without page builders At last I don t mean to sound joyful at the carnage that s coming A decade ago I was laid off myself in the first ever round of layoffs at the Toronto Sun on my birthday no less a brutal life altering event and one I would never wish on anyone But But this has to happen Here s the thing it turns out you can axe fully one third of the jobs in the newsroom hand that work to centralized or even outside agencies and it will have only minimal impact on your circulation and readership Think about that for a second fully one third of the newsroom pushed out the door and life just goes on And if that can be done it will be done you ll have no real choice It s a brutal economic imperative CanWest and Quebecor have already demonstrated you can produce large portions of your paper using stand alone production centres ones that cost a third or more less than in house staff The truth is the market now devalues a lot of the skills newspapers were happy to reward with nice fat middle class lifestyles or at least were happy to back when our franchises were protected by the multi million dollar entry fees we call printing presses Monopolies have a way of distorting things Copy editing page layout and design image processing even photography and some forms of reporting these skills are either non critical or they can easily be replaced by some clever software a decent spot of training the judicious use of templates and simply settling for less or some combination of these That newspapers are embracing these solutions should not be surprising We live in an era in an information rich society where news and information has become commoditized and it s value is rapidly sinking towards zero It s increasingly hard to make people pay for their news Sadly we also live in an era where the cost of advertising is also approach zero because of an oversupply it s hard to find people to pay for their advertising This isn t about a recession these changes are structural not merely cyclical And as such they demand rapid and decisive responses from owners and managers we need to decide exactly what business we re in

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=172 (2014-10-09)
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  • If papers stopped dumping their print products online they might just find a real business model « Breaking News
    spent arguing whether we should charge for our newspaper content were wasted because we were asking the wrong question As Howard Owens director of digital publishing for Gatehouse Media reflected in a widely circulated blog post a couple of years back we would all have been far better off if we d never put our newspapers online at all because then we would have asked ourselves the right question namely what does our community need online In the language of the American Press Institute s bracing Newspaper Next reports what jobs do they want done that we can do better than anyone else Here s the jobs I want done as a reader Find me good information filter the flood Give me useful local news and information fresh and fast and make it dead easy for me to share comment add to and improve that information Give me my information when and how I want via the web widgets web based apps mobile push and pull and feeds Help me find and interact with businesses and services in my community and let me find customers for my own service business and products Let me see what other people in my community are doing and let me talk to them Notice that the sites that are successful in extracting value from news Google s search engine aggregators like Yahoo and MSNBC Digg and Fark are meeting several of those needs while producing and owning almost NONE of the information they re providing The fastest growing news web site today and the 18th most popular is the Huffington Post a site which aggregates its version of the best political news from across the web and blends it with a smattering of original content and the best of over 1 000 members blogs Curate the web find me good information make it easy for me to share and participate the Huffington Post does those brilliantly And it has just announced plans to roll out local versions of its news and blog aggregation platform How many of those jobs are you doing for your community On company Village Soup has found a business model based on giving the content away for free but charging money to create it Village Soup began life 10 years ago in rural Maine as an online business directory not a news site But owner Richard Anderson paid attention to what his community wanted and needed and eventually developed a radical three pronged model for a community news site His summary of what people want to do online is deceptively simple Learn Share Shop Anderson sees his sites as community platforms more of a trade show than a professional performance a place where people are free to wander and mix and mingle businesses individuals and organizations alike His professional journalists gather news and information and report it Members of the community share what they know whether it s births and deaths garage sales their opinions or ideas heck even their

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=138 (2014-10-09)
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  • Is it time to buy newspapers? Or say bye bye? « Breaking News
    Top Twitter er But Newspaper Readers Not Flocking to Sign Up For The Service Home Stephen King s latest fiction released as a daily video series for cell phones Is it time to buy newspapers Or say bye bye By Bill on August 3rd 2008 I t s either a very very good time to buy newspaper stock or time to put us out of our misery The Washington Post fell into the red this past quarter for the first time in like what 30 something years A one time charge of 87 million to pay for layoffs is getting the blame but newspaper sales were down 13 per cent print ad revenue was down 22 per cent and even without counting the layoff costs earnings per share dropped sharply from over 8 to under 6 Across the US the credit crunch the flight of advertising dollars and the general fear that things will get worse much worse before they get better have all dealt a body blow to the newspaper biz The market capitalization of the Journal Register Company publisher of the New Haven Register and hundreds of smaller papers fell below 1 million last week down more than

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=12 (2014-10-09)
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  • The biggest mistake online news sites make: creating their own content « Breaking News
    understate this simple truth because they don t seem to be treating a whole class of news aggregators notably Digg and even Reddit as news sites Going by monthly unique visitors Digg which has between 5 and 25 million unique visitors depending on who you believe would easily make the top ten And they of course create no news at all merely have their readers post links to it In an information economy in a society where the world s information is migrating online where it will soon be always and instantly available one of the most important jobs to be done is not information creation but retrieval Find me the stuff I need want fast Creating useful information which news clearly is is also an important job but it shouldn t be our only one Newspapers can t expect to compete on search as such but they can and must use their searching filtering and editing skills to find and point to the best most useful and interesting news on the web Why is that so hard to understand Scour the web for the freshest most authoritative relevant news and information news sites blogs institutional sites whatever toss it into a river of news on your front page a river that also includes your very own excellent local content Mix in the very best readers picks of news on the web and a dose of their freshest best comments pulled from anywhere on your site and you have a news product that people will come back to again and again each day There are some news sites that are moving slowly and cautiously in this direction but not newspaper sites As always innovation is coming from outsiders not from newspapers themselves culture bound creatures that they are Here s

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=21 (2014-10-09)
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  • Capturing the print diaspora – disruption as a training opportunity « Breaking News
    in the US But there s no denying nor ignoring the pain south of the border That s why it s kind of refreshing to see the birth of a company aimed at helping journalists and the industry cross the chasm from print focused to content focused TreeHouse Media Founded by a former Phildelphia Inquirer reporter who left journalism to get his brains bashed out in a dot com start up TreeHouse will offer training and conferences and perhaps an alternative to the Death of Journalism narrative that so many people seem to be constructing Here s their pitch Laid off Bought out Pissed off Or just overworked because you re one of the lucky ones still working for the walking corpse that is the daily newspaper Join us the diaspora as we work to recapture the joy and passion of our noble profession This opportunity may suit you if you Are tired of living paycheck to paycheck Have buyout money or a spouse to pay your current bills while you invest in your future Want a greater say in your professional and financial destiny Seek part time work in addition to a full time job If you are interested help us develop the curriculum by filling out this short survey Have questions E mail us Perhaps more indicative of their attitude and marketing moxie is what happens when you click on the About button on their website This is what you get minus the which I put in F k Google Fuck Craig s List Fuck Wall Street Yes we have ample reason to be bitter Times have never been worse for newspaper journalists The erosion of print readers and advertisers shows no signs of abating One in four newspaper jobs have disappeared since 1990 more than 10 000

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=22 (2014-10-09)
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  • Blow up the beats: Tampa paper copes with deep cuts « Breaking News
    in the online journalism and blog worlds last week but not because of the blood letting that s far too common in US newsroom these days to excite much interest No the buzz was mostly because of a blog post written by reporting intern Jessica DaSilva a post which perhaps injudiciously cheered the money losing paper s efforts to reinvent itself DaSilva s post written with the certitude and copy bloopers only the very young can manage brought forth a predictable fusilade of vituperative comments and counter comments these are nervous times in American newsroom Too bad Because lost in the back and forth about just who s the naive greenhorn and who s the pig headed old dinosaur is the re organization itself and that s something worth debating and watching While not truly radical the changes being hammered out in Tampa are part of an increasing trend in North American newsrooms to cut the connection between reporters and institutions beats and more importantly between reporters and the medium their reporting will appear in Note the Trib is part of a chain that has three properties in Tampa the Trib online news website TBO com and TV station WFLA Channel 8 In an email to journalism prof and blogger Mindy McAdams one anonymous Tampa Tribune staffer described the new newsroom hierarchy this way Managing editors 5 6 audience editors keep in touch with what the print TV online audiences want need 5 sections of reporting all the reporters for print TV and Web are mashed up together in these groups Deadline for breaking daily news Data specifically for database stuff Watchdog for investigative reporting Personal journalism stuff for people s every day lives like weather health entertainment Grassroots citizen journalism Outside of these groups are three finishing groups production

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=24 (2014-10-09)
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  • Why Newspapers Still Don’t Get The Web « Breaking News
    in our print culture we re highly competitive and we re used to owning and controlling everything we publish But the web is different and that mistake costs us dearly I think because it causes us to miss out on opportunities to make our stories very useful It stems in part from our failure to understand the rich traditions of sharing and connection that have grown on the web Here are some simple truths about web publishing that are completely anti intuitive to print culture Sharing your audience builds your audience Sending people away to good information makes them come back to you more often You don t have to own content to use and share it filtering it is a very valuable job Your story is part of a living moving changing conversation in which virtually all the participants know more than you do Your story joins the conversation it doesn t own it It s the last point I think that causes journalists the biggest concern because it forces us to re evaluate our role Too often we like to think of ourselves as experts especially by the time we sit down to write or publish our stories Many of us revel in that role we have inside knowledge about important events and people we must be special and have come to perhaps unconsciously internalize that thinking to thread it through our sense of self our identity So being asked to admit that we re the dumb ones on a story or being urged to share the stuff that makes us special our documents our interviews our access to information with our readers well that s mighty hard for some But it s critical to success on the web Our stories should acknowledge the other participants in the

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=27 (2014-10-09)
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