Tag Archives: online media

Student journalism is worth the rising costs

This might surprise the technologically inclined, but most college students don’t expect their campus news on a phone or tablet – they find it printed on newspaper.

Editors say over and over that students get news by stumbling across their college newspaper and flipping through it casually, or seeking out their friend who might be in a picture or mentioned in a story. It’s not a regular habit to seek it out on a website or like it on Facebook.

In my interviews with some Boston college paper editors, they say they’re still experimenting with online strategies. But their hands may be forced soon as university budgets make newspapers a costly proposition.

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A Pulitzer win for David Wood is a win for the future of HuffPo and online-only journalism

Photo/@joshuahersh

Poynter tried to tease media junkies yesterday morning before the 2012 Pulitzers were announced, but I saw one of the big news pieces of the day about an hour before official announcements came down – and it wasn’t as shocking as I might have thought maybe a year ago.

David Wood‘s win for the “Beyond the Battlefield” series, posted on The Huffington Post, is a deserved win for a seasoned journalist producing really great journalism. But it’s proof that it’s the writer, not the organization, that wins the Pulitzer. The organization, however, gets to bask in the acknowledgement that it employs a Pulitzer-winning journalist. And for HuffPo, that’s a great sign.

Online media nabbing Pulitzers isn’t really news these days. Politico and ProPublica have done it for a few years now, showing great journalism doesn’t always need to be printed. But HuffPo, the target of right wing bashing and criticism for headlines so big and sensational that’s it’s not even funny, hasn’t enjoyed a reputation for really specialized content. Calling it a news aggregator as little as a year or two ago wasn’t that far of a reach. Things have changed, and the Wood’s Pulitzer is proof.

The fact that good journalists are coming to HuffPo is a great thing for the company. Yes, the dialup-grade connection to sinking ship AOL is a downer, but the Pulitzer cred should be taken as a sign that Arianna’s creation is willing to foster strong journalism. As a sucker for good journalism entering the job market, that’s more than a little comforting.

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10 is a scary number when it comes to paywalls

With all of the discussion in the last year or so about them, you could probably write a blog just on paywalls.

It’s already been a year since The New York Times instated its paywall on online readers, limiting readers to 20 articles a month unless they paid up for home delivery or a digital subscription. Or if they just found a way to circumvent the paid journalism guards, which proved pretty easy to do if you follow the Times on Twitter or Facebook.

But I finally caved in a few months ago and bought a digital subscription, mostly because I’d go on to NYTimes.com looking for a specific story and then get distracted and click-happy when I saw other stories I hadn’t seen on Twitter. In one sitting, 10 clicks could be gone.

Ten clicks is all non-subscribers are going to get from now on, since the NY Times has made it just that more difficult for cheapskates to scale the paywall. And 10 really isn’t that many, especially if they get any smarter about making clicks from social media count.

In just 10 days, I slammed into the Los Angeles Times’ new paywall. It felt like I hit it head first and I might have let out a few choice expletives in the middle of a Starbucks. I read the LA Times frequently for California-centric stories the NY Times doesn’t do well, or at all. And their paywall counts what you click on through social media. If they cut their free article limit to 10, I’ll be out of free clicks in a couple of days.

Twenty clicks got me through most of the month on the NY Times. Fifteen clearly wasn’t enough at the LA Times. Now 10? That’s going to make scaling the paywall tricky. Looks like I need to get some extra jobs to pay for online subscriptions.

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