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Newspaper’s slow online evolution December 19, 2008

Posted by Michael Kowalski in whatever.
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The Use of the Internet by America’s Largest Newspapers (2008 Edition) .

As usual, discussion seems to be focused on how newspapers handle UGC, as though this is the defining issue. It isn’t. The value of news coming from newspapers is precisely that editorial judgement and constraints have been brought to bear. It’s signal over noise, and the noise in the UGC bits of these sites is typically depressingly rowdy. That 75% of newspaper sites allow users to vent their drivel onto the bottom of articles is nothing I can get too excited about.

Which is not to say that newspapers online couldn’t be a lot better, merely that UGC isn’t the whole answer, and probably isn’t even an important part of the answer. How can newspaper sites better deliver authoritative, “professional” news – that’s the real question. (Oh, yeah, and make money while doing it ;-)

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