DISCUSSION NOTES—RETHINKING NEWSPAPERS

What do newspapers do well?

• local coverage

• the writing of headlines

• balance hard news and lifestyle news (a combination with broad coverage, sites tend to be more niche).

• efficient, released daily.

• photography (the best photography has been seen in printed publications. i.e. Life, National Geographic, New York Times, every year documentary journalism highlighted. Currently, traditional newspapers photographers are trying to learn how to work online.)

• physicality of a newspaper (the artifact aspect, a visual break for the reader)

Why (when) do you read them?

• when I have plenty of time or nothing else to do; a luxury

• force of habit?

• care about home news, where you are part of the community

• internet self edits what the reader hears, newspapers have a broader focus with pages of random information

What do you love about newspapers?

• the smell

• you can touch it.

• means more printed.

• folding it, interacting with it, cut it out

• news feels more important in the paper.

• finite amount of space in a paper (versus infinite amount of space online, a sense of selectivity, worth)

What should newspapers be doing that they’re not?

• cater to a younger audience.

• jargon and lingo without background information, both a language issue and an assumption of how much the reader knows (which leads to internet research)

• newspapers are messy—the ink, a fire hazard.

• Louie’s story on a Mexican jailbreak, what writers are relevant?

• they ignore whitespace. “People would read more if they could breathe.”

• expensive. you fight for every inch of type. (i.e. ZAMAN newspaper (Turkey), almost magazine-like, “you can do it, its manageable.”)

• paying attention to the sensitivities of the current culture.

• Sometimes newspaper stories are too long, you have to invest.

• “I want the facts, fast.”

• Where do we go for more in-depth stuff? (Google? Beyond the front page of each section?)

Prof. Claudia