News & Publishing

Ongoing legislative battles put Public Notices in peril

By Gretchen A. Peck

Author’s Note: The relationship between newspapers and Public Notice authors is being challenged across the U.S. What does this mean for newspapers and the public? I took a look at the issue in the October 2018 issue of Editor & Publisher magazine.

If you look closely at the fine print just below the banner logo for PublicNoticeAds.com, a single-source searchable database for legal ads published by “participating newspapers” across the country, it reads: “The public notice database on this site is not a substitute for the official publication that is required by law. You will still find those notices in your local newspaper.”

On the site’s homepage are links to each to state with “participating newspapers,” though most simply redirect the browser to other websites of a similar design. For example, clicking on the link to Connecticut redirects the user to Connecticut public notices, which is “powered by MyPublicNotices.com.” From there, users can click on individual links to public notices on individual websites for each newspaper title, or search notices published in any of the state’s local and regional titles.

In fact, legally mandated public notices are already prevalently available online and digitally redundant to what’s published in printed newspapers. In addition to these sites, they are also found on government-maintained sites, legal sites and on many newspaper-branded websites.

Yet, in several states just this year, legislators have proposed bills that would allow for public notices to bypass print altogether, possibly narrowing access to information and starving newspapers of the revenue derived from publishing information of this kind.

Given the legislative effort that feels coordinated and party-centric, E&P went in search of who and what was behind the lobby for this legislation and answers to what it would mean to newspapers if printed public notices become obsolete.

Read more at:
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/ongoing-legislative-battles-put-public-notices-in-peril/ 

 

News & Publishing

The Side Hustle: What Do Newspapers Gain by Having Their Journalists Appear on TV and Radio?

By Gretchen A. Peck

For the penultimate segment on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” each weeknight, Matthews queries his panel of journalists and pundits—often with at least one reporter representing a major-market newspaper—challenging them, “Tell me something I don’t know.”

His branded phrase not only introduces the segment, it exemplifies one of the benefits of having journalists appear as guests on broadcast news programs. Reporters remain excellent sources themselves of researched, vetted and well-sourced information. Their appearances and expertise on the topics of discussion lend both content and credibility to broadcast news programs.

And there are obvious professional gains for the journalist—who has a brand and a byline to protect—and to the newspaper’s brand, which benefits from audience reach and an opportunity to evangelize its reporting.

Still, as some newspaper journalists have learned, appearing on broadcast news programs can occasionally come with some unwanted attention too.

Read more at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/the-side-hustle-what-do-newspapers-gain-by-having-their-journalists-appear-on-tv-and-radio/

Editor & Publisher magazine, October 2018 issue

 

 

News & Publishing

The Journalist and the President: I’ve Called with Bad News

I just listened to the phone call between Bob Woodward and President Donald J. Trump.
A few takeaways:
Woodward cites meeting with WH personnel outside of their offices, on the low down. He has tapes of those conversations (though protects source identities). This is the most whistle-blowy staff I’ve ever seen.
How quickly the President throws his team (including K. Conway, and Raj Shah) under the bus — in real time — and then how effortlessly she passes blame to official WH comms team. Also: Conway had lunch with Woodward to discuss book! Who would sign off on that?
Final thought. Woodward’s not perfect. He can sometimes err on the side of doubt-benefit when intention is otherwise obvious. But he’s pretty close to textbook on sourcing and supporting documentation. My guess is that the book’s narrative will feel like a tabloid read, because it’s a tabloid Presidency.
Here’s the audio, thanks to the Washington Post:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/09/04/transcript-phone-call-between-president-trump-journalist-bob-woodward/?utm_term=.865bfb1b0cef
News & Publishing

Newspapers 2020: How are newsrooms preparing for the next decade of publishing?

By Gretchen A. Peck

More than a year has passed since the New York Times’ newsroom published “Journalism That Stands Apart: The Report of the 2020 Group.” The report was intended to define “the newsroom’s strategies and aspirations” and laid out arguments for initiatives like nurturing more reader participation; creating more visually stimulating, multimedia journalism; and committing to greater collaboration between the newsroom and the publisher’s product teams.

Overall, the report provided interesting insight on what the Times was planning for its future, so we couldn’t help but wonder what other newspapers had on their agenda for 2020. E&P reached out to several newspapers across the country and asked them to share.

What variables do you think will have the most influence on how well your newspaper performs—in both revenue and audience—in the coming two years?

Read more at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/newspapers-2020-how-are-newsrooms-preparing-for-the-next-decade-of-publishing/

News & Publishing

HR Directors Talk Challenges and Opportunities in Staffing Newspaper Organizations

By Gretchen A. Peck

It goes without saying that newsrooms are profoundly differently from even five to 10 years ago. Beyond the newsroom and across the news organization, no job title, no position and no role has benefitted from the comfort of status quo. Sales, graphics and production, circulation and audience, marketing, and more have been tested and changed. This has undoubtedly made recruiting and staffing more complicated.

Plus, consolidation, layoffs, and an image problem have been working against newspapers’ efforts to attract and keep skilled, experienced, talented people. These are all challenges we face, but they can also be fixed.

Read more at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/hr-directors-talk-challenges-and-opportunities-in-staffing-newspaper-organizations/

News & Publishing

Beyond the Paywall: Future Valuation of News

By Gretchen A. Peck

News pay models seem to be caught in a publishing purgatory. Newspaper publishers have the need to make content accessible, shareable, viral even. And yet, much of it is nestled behind paywalls, some of which have been erected with greater success than others. This quagmire — coupled with the decline of mass-appeal advertising in favor of highly targeted campaigns — presents a bleak future for newspapers if these unsustainable models aren’t overhauled. But determining how to valuate content is only half the challenge. First, news enterprises have to figure out how best to prove that value to potential new subscribers.

Read more at: https://www.editorandpublisher.com/news/beyond-the-paywall-future-valuation-of-news/

Published by Editor & Publisher magazine, July 2014

News & Publishing

The New Look of the News Business

By Gretchen A. Peck

It used to be that one could look at an organizational chart for a newspaper and find roles and responsibilities neatly divided into categories that made perfect sense: Editorial, Advertising, Production, Business. And the people who made the newspaper miraculously appear every day on the newsstand, in the mailbox, or the front porch? They had easy-to-understand titles, too, like reporter, editor, circulation manager, publisher, and ad sales.

A lot of those titles still exist and remain vital to producing a newspaper. But the organizational chart is beginning to morph, pulled and stretched in new directions by economics, consumer preferences, technology, and a timely collision of new media and old media.

Read more at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/the-new-look-of-the-news-businesss/

Published by Editor & Publisher magazine, December 2013