Monthly Archives: October 2012

Why do newspapers have a hard time online?

We could be here all day answering this question and actually many, many, MANY people have already answered it very well. But what I always find lacking in those explanations are the practical, nitty-gritty reasons. This is my attempt to present some of those logisitcal roadblocks.

If there’s anyone who still doesn’t understand why much of print media sucks online, let me explain it to you.

Imagine that you had to print your blog out every day or every week and it had to look nice, be a certain length and have the ads in all the right places.

Now imagine that you wrote your blog with the thought that it was going onto paper first so you couldn’t put hyperlinks into it. If you wanted links in there, you would have to add them later. Or possibly you couldn’t add them at all, depending on what publishing platform you are using to create your paper.

Imagine that everything you wrote had to be edited by another person (a person who is very busy editing many things) so you couldn’t quickly toss something up online whenever you felt like it. Imagine that there were once people whose sole job was editing things quickly, but most of those people were laid off.

Imagine that there are very few people writing and reporting for both print and online and they are people who make very little money. The paper has to go out and it can’t have blank pages so there is no one writing exclusively for online and the people writing for both don’t have a lot of extra time to produce online-only work.

Imagine that publishing something online doesn’t happen at the click of a button.

Imagine that most of what you write has to be original and factual so it takes much longer to produce and remember again that there aren’t many people to produce it. 

I could go on, but hopefully you’re beginning to get the idea.

Have advice for me? I’m listening.



I’m going to start being a “real reporter” on Monday, October 15. If you have any advice for me, let’s hear it. It could be advice on working in a newsroom, reporting/journalism advice, advice about working with sources, anything at all really.

I want to hear from you even if your only experience with journalism is reading the paper and of course I also want to hear from you if you’ve been a reporter for 20 years.

So please, leave me some comments.