Monday, January 12, 2009

Newspaper Reform

Newspapers should stop devoting resources to cover news conferences on the national level, instead get the wire, the people who call news conferences will never answer any real questions anyway so it’s useless to send a reporter to take notes on a prepared statement. Use that reporter to write an in-depth story that explains the situation in detail. Have the reporter do investigative research, research WILL be necessary!

The entire model has to change. Readers already know what the “news” is, they hear about it or read it online well before the print edition comes out. That means the print edition offers stale “news” that we already heard. What we need is a comprehensive and detailed analysis that can’t be offered by online sites and radio news summaries. The routine stuff like Obama says “x” should be printed from a wire service or a pool of reporters. No way should a reporter from every paper be sent to take dictation.

Local is important, but again, it has to be investigative or in-depth. No more blurbs or summaries, those are already available for free and if newspapers want to publish that, then just get it from a wire service, there’s no need to assign a writer to summarize what we already know.

Stop the obvious biased slant. In other industries, the customer is always right. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re biased or not, if the reader thinks so then you have to change. The readers’ opinion is all that matters so it’s time to change the writing/writers until the readers feel the paper is no longer biased. Many say the biases are cultural and ingrained within the newroom. If so, then perhaps the entire staff has to be fired and replaced over time. Because we all tend to hire people who are similar to ourselves or who we can identify with, this may not be possible without firing all the staff at one time and starting over. Yikes.

No comments: