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Apr 3, 2008

NEWS: Clips from Legacy Newspapers

The National Union of Journalists'
monthly mail-out members' magazine The Journalist is going online, ending all print publications to save print, post, and packaging costs. 

Ed: and the environment.

UK: Evening Leader boosts traffic through Flickr and external sites

flickr.pngTo increase the reach and popularity of multimedia content, local news provides should not be afraid of hosting content on external sites, but should "see them as way to drive traffic to their own websites and to reach new viewers," said The Evening Leader's Christian Dunn.

The Evening Leader has been using photo-sharing site Flickr to host their images and has seen a steady flow of traffic to the paper's website from Flickr. Dunn said that the slide shows created from the pictures had attracted thousands of viewed after being on the site for only a few weeks.

This week the paper has created three public Flickr groups for people to submit images, in hopes that Flickr users readers will join. Submitted pictures may appear in the print edition, and the Leader's Picture Editor Rick Matthews will manage one group for aspiring photographers.

Dunn hopes "these features will encourage readers to participate and provide another source of content and means of distribution for the paper."

Ed: Simple, good idea.

US: Newly launched Backyard Post provides neighborhood news and networking

BackyardPost.pngAfter 574 days of development, Palm Beach Post's Online Innovations Editor William Harnett and his crew released Backyard Post, a website which brings the "Neighbors" section of a newspaper to the Web. 

Backyard Post features an interactive map, where users can click on their neighborhood and share news and connect with their neighbors on personal pages. They can also find news on schools, libraries and parks.

Harnett writes: "Think of the value you can build on top of that foundation of neighborhoods. Not just value for your users, but value as well for the 80 percent of local businesses in your typical market that don't consume any form of newspaper advertising."
Ed: Expensive. Bug prone.

"Digital magazines are either passé or the next big thing - depending who you listen to," writes Robert Andrews, editor of Paidcontent:UK. ...

Drift Editor Howard Swanwick said, "With the internet there's a lifecycle with these things - buzzwords such as digital magazine, podcast, blogging - they tend to come and go. I think digital magazines have had their day. As a medium to put features in, they don't work."

Drift also had problems selling space because "advertisers did not understand the digital format" according to Swanwick. 

US: Seattle Times Co. cut 200 positions

The Seattle Times Company will be laying off or freezing about 200 positions due to approximately $15 million in budget reductions, which will be implemented over the next two months, stated a memo by Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen.

The bulk of revenue declines are occurring in the Classified ad sections, (a newspaper trend partly due to Craigslisand the like) and online revenue is slow in increasing. About 131 of the 200 cut positions will be layoffs while about 60 unfulfilled positions will be frozen. Currently, the The Times has 1,845 employees.

Blethen wrote that, "The only responsible action to take is to better align our expenses to the reduced revenue we now anticipate."

Canada: Newspaper industry in good health

Canadian newspapers have been largely unharmed by the financial problems affecting many America newspapers, says theCanadian Newspaper Association (CNA). 

Total 2007 revenues, including online operations, slipped only 0.8%, with print advertising decreasing 2.4%. In contrast, online revenue grew 29% over 2006. Newspaper circulation as well took a very minor fall in 2007, decreasing 1.2% after a 3.8% rise the previous year. 

Like in the U.S., online revenue in Canada continues to increase, the difference being that in Canada, online is compensating for print losses. U.S. newspaper revenues were buoyed in a similar fashion in the past, but as the latest Newspaper Association of America(NAA) report reflects, this is no longer the case

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