Didn't have time to pick up a Star on Sunday to compare print headlines with those online. I'll give it a try later this week, Sunday at the latest.
I liked my buddy Joel's thoughts about news gathering and packaging. He's definitely on point.
The issue, obviously, is packaging. A lot of folks seem to prefer getting their news in a repackaged form, be it comedy or blogs. But we still need real reporters going out and getting real news. You need a package to repackage.
But if all the eyeballs are shifting to the repackaged stuff, where we gonna get the money for the actual stuff? Journalism isn't free. We need to have journalists drawing steady paychecks and earning annual raises.
So, duh! News organizations have adjust the way they deliver their product.
No, I don't think the Miami Herald or the San Jose Mercury should become more like Steven Colbert. But they should at least make their websites usable. They should make it so an average schmoe like me can easily figure out what the hell stories their links lead to.
Last fall Rupert Murdoch gave a lecture to some association of newspaper editors. The folks at Knight Ridder should track down a copy of it and study it. Regardless of what you might think of Murdoch and his effect on journalism, you can't deny that the dude knows how to make money on information. And the gist of his message was: Catch up with the online generation, or die.
He said newspapers' goal should be to make their website the first place people in their coverage area visit when they go online each day.
If the Star's website made sense, if I could log onto it and not have to guess what the damn stories are about, if it had a broad array of stories arranged in logival categories, I would likely make it my home page.
And I'm betting there are a lot of folks like me. People who want good, mostly straight information with a particular focus on my community.
But as it stands, I go to Tony's Kansas City first everyday. Which is kind of jacked up, really. Not (just) because he's sexist racist pig, but because even he admits he's not a good thorough source for news.
But at least his damn site makes sense.
Why can't a multi-million-dollar news organization figure out how to make a news product that makes sense?