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Former WaPo Staffer Rob Pegoraro Talks About Newspapers' Decline (Video) 79

Posted by Roblimo
from the paper-is-too-20th-century-for-words dept.
Newpapers. Remember them? The printout editions of websites like NYTimes.com, WSJ.com, and Rob Pegoraro's former workplace, WashingtonPost.com? Rob still writes for USAToday.com and its printout edition, but as a freelancer, not on staff. He's one of few newspaper layoff victims who has managed to hustle up enough freelance work to make a decent living. He's even on Boing Boing and Discovery.com. Where else? Tiny shots on various TV news programs, and one-off articles here and there. He's a hard-working and prolific guy, and he's had an insider's view of the decline of the newspaper industry and the rise of the online news business. In this interview he talks about both -- and adds a few cautionary notes for Rob Malda, the Slashdot co-founder who is now a Washington Post employee.

Robin: I am Robin Miller, “Roblimo” to a lot to you. And today we are talking with Rob Pegoraro, who used to be the tech editor and tech cool guy for a small local newspaper called the Washington Post of which you may have heard. So Rob, what are you doing nowadays?

Rob: Basically, I’ve managed to redistribute the work that I was doing for the Post as the consumer tech columnist for a bunch of different places. So the Q&A column I used to do for the Post, I do pretty much the same thing for USA Today’s website. The tech policy stuff I do for a few different places, most of it is for a blog called the Disruptive Competition Project sponsored by one of the local tech think tanks. The gadget reviews, most of them are for Discovery News but I still do in other places like I reviewed the Galaxy S4 for Boing Boing and events, but I have other clients I can line up in a month.

Robin: So you are sort of like all over the place?

Rob: My wife does the invoices, the tax time is a lot worse.

Robin: Well, we have computers to do our taxes.

Rob: I need people – a person -- to do my taxes.

Robin: What is going on with the newspaper industry? You used to be in it. You were in it for a long time and then one day, bam! you weren’t. What’s going on? Are the newspapers laying off all the good people?

Rob: Well, you are saying I am one of the good people.

Robin: Yes I am... yes I am.

Rob: It is a few different things. It is not that people have less interest in knowing what’s going on around the world around them, I don’t think more people would want to be uninformed or dumb, but if you are in a newspaper you got a bunch of intersecting forces that leave you in a tough spot. You are certainly dependent on print ad sales, so you want to keep hanging on to that income stream as long as you can, and that led a lot of newspapers to be slow to deal with online ad sales, and in things like classifieds that just got eaten out entirely by craigslist, and it’s not there wasn’t fair warning, because before there was a craigslist you could advertise stuff for sale for free and Washington City took pride in that, you know, you didn’t need to pay the Post for a classified when you could do it anywhere using the same really ugly interface because that took a big chunk out of the newspaper business.

And in a lot of the ways, it seems newspapers are still kind of having trouble dealing with ‘how do you market yourselves?’ Every time I go to a site, and this is not just newspapers, it is a lot of political news sites, places that have no attachment to the print universe, you see the same ad styles... they must be making no money from it at all, they are just keeping the inventory around it. So you’ve got that, you’ve got the fact that if you run a newspaper, you have legacy hardware in every sense of the word, you’ve got a fleet of trucks, you’ve got real estate in expensive parts of town, you’ve got a lot of people that you hired, that maybe don’t have the digital skills they need, and you have to sort of make this huge wrenching transition, and a lot of other industries have had to do it even worse. So don’t be too sympathetic to those of us in the journalist rack, we have it better than, say, travel agents, people running bookstores.

Robin: So the newspapers, the journalists, okay we have no sympathy for journalists because a lot of them what’s that?

Rob: No one ever has.

Robin: Well I never thought you did. I mean you get to sit around and drink all the time, go type a little, and that’s it, right?

Rob: Oh, coffee... we drink a lot of coffee.

Robin: One thing I notice, let’s talk about the Post specifically which I used to subscribe to in print, and you used to work for. They are charging ten bucks a month for an online subscription, as is the New York Times. What’s with that? Shouldn’t they be charging around $5 a month? $10 a month in the fixed income, social security world where I live is a whole bunch of money. What’s up with that?

Rob: The pricing of newspaper paywalls, particular numbers don’t bug me that much, because I think the overall strategy is actually not crazy, it is just a freemium strategy, plenty of other sites make it work. I think where it ____4:27 one is you certainly make something that was free for pay but there is no other actual upgrade to it, the whole point of freemium is you should get something you didn’t have before, so when you launch the Pro or Extra or whatever you want to call it, you feel like you have gotten something new instead of just a bill.

The other thing is ____4:49 actually work, like I have thought about subscribing to the New York Times, every single time I see a link on Facebook or Twitter I follow it and ____4:57 dialogue, picking out a footer and header I only know I am going to be able to get it into kind of like A4. And so I haven’t run into a problem with the Post yet, but that should be because they could be in this computer, because we subscribe to the Post as well. I like reading the paper in the morning. The one interesting thing that the Post is doing and I haven’t seen doing elsewhere they said it is logging in from a .edu, .gov, .mil IP address you are ushered over the paywall.

Robin: Well the other thing too is you have to call up the page and you can right click and get the story URL and then you get the page into Google and you can read the story, so the Post is really saying three extra clicks and you can read our story.

Rob: Yeah, I mean the Wall Street Journal is the same where the New York Times they figured out some ways so that you can’t actually get at the text.

Robin: There are ways to read the NYT. I am not going to get into them here, in public, but there are ways to read the New York Times if you are poor and smart. It is all of these paywalls, function as a money or brains test. If you are intelligent, if you act smart you can get around them, I am telling you, you know, the New York Times... they had it and people had it hacked and they changed it, and it was unhacked, then it is hacked again, and it is the usual thing. And like I said the Post... I walk right around that, it is an intelligence thing. So I mean if they made it cheaper, let me ask you, remember music and how people were downloading it, and then it got cheap, and then you said, I don’t need to steal it, it is a buck, remember that?

Rob: Exactly. Well a year before the iTunes sort of launched it, there was an email from a reader at the Post saying I just want to be able to like find a place where I can spend a dollar and that’s exactly what he got and yet, if you are buying music these days and it is available on iTunes or Amazon, you’re good because you are getting it without DRM, you can play it any device you want, you own it unquestionably, you can give it away to somebody else, you got all the fair use rights you had with the CD, and you can back it up and you can fit every song you have ever owned on a device this big. So it is pity that e-books don’t work that way, and downloadable movies sure don’t work that way.

Robin: They don’t?

Rob: Well, you can buy it legitimately, do the right thing.

Robin: I have no comment about that.

Rob: I find it hard to do that sometimes.

Robin: I have no comment about that but why can’t the newspapers learn from this?

Rob: Well, I mean it is not like they are adopting DRM in massive numbers, I think you are going to need a lot of experimentation, people are going to need to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. Because yeah, at some level, there is that much interest to people to spend that much time on your site, you have cases at the Post we have readers who would say, I want to pay you something for what I get online. Give me a way to do that. Or even say like I want to pay if I can like not have the really annoying full page flash ad, it gets in the way of everything. And there is no way to do that.

Robin: The Post by the way has disabled AdBlock. You cannot. For money or no, you cannot view Post pages with AdBlock Plus enabled. Not that I would ever use that since this is my going on to an ad supported site, so I would never use AdBlock but if I did, oh boy that sounds tacky.

Rob: Slashdot is funny because if you have high karma you can disable the ads. I wonder how many people actually go after that option, say yeah, remove the ad.

Robin: You know you are right, I never thought about it, because I have always had an editor’s account on Slashdot, since soon after it became Slashdot, soon after Rob Malda - the now Post employee – changed it from Chips 'n Dips.

Rob: What?

Robin: Yes, you know he works there, right?

Rob: Exactly, yeah, I remember when he got hired, I thought that’s a really good gig, I hope he can put his talents to work, and not having to get stuck at the PowerPoint stage in making some big change.

Robin: Oh, one can hope, there’d been a lot of effort to get him at the Post, and then back in the backend people to bring in the Slashdot backend and the higher Slashdot engineers, and I presented this over and over again to our various managements as a good side money thing.

Rob: I don’t know why I didn’t run into you at the newsroom at some point?

Robin: Sorry, what?

Rob: I don’t know why I didn’t run into you at the building at some point?

Robin: Well I wasn’t there, I was in other places, and mostly it was conferences, like We the Media where we all were. And the thing is, we could not get our management to join the idea, to do that, I used to say, “Come on, come on, these people they have a budget, they are one of America’s leading newspapers, it's a prestige thing, well worth it, they want our comment system, yeah, we know it is free, they can take it, but they want the expertise. Now, we got some people, and they are cool people...”

So Dice owns it now, and the Post has Rob Malda so we are all happy. So what happens? Are you ever going to work for a newspaper again, do you think?

Rob: Fulltime, probably not. I mean, I should note that I do work as a columnist for USA Today, that stuff is usually not in the paper right now, like one or two things of mine have gotten kind of reverse published at the USA Today, that’s unlikely. Just my column once a week, online on a Sunday, I have done a couple of others, like I covered Mobile World Congress like in a bonus column. I don’t think that got into print.

Robin: Okay, that’s interesting. Because I won’t say his name, but there is a guy in the real world who works for the Tampa Bay Times, local to me, and I joked once, we ran into each other some place, and I said, “Hey, the other day I got the printout version of your column.” I personally realize that I think of USA Today or the Tampa Bay Times or the Washington Post, I think of the online version as the real one, and then they have a printout. Have you moved there yet?

Rob: I have not with the Post, I am still used to reading it, you know, it comes to us at work, and that’s handy... the USA Today is very real to me in print, mostly if I am traveling, Times when I go visit my mom in Newark, New Jersey, she gets delivery to the
NYT, and I actually like to see the big fun club Sunday Times show up and then realize there goes the afternoon, because I am going to read this paper.

Robin: Yeah, but at the end, you can use it to light your charcoal too in the chimney.

Rob: Many different uses.

Robin: But you are online, we’ve moved online, I moved online from City Paper in Baltimore many years ago, we are online, is this how we are always going to get our news from now on?

Rob: I think so, I mean it works, if you wanted to reinvent, if no one had invented the newspaper and you could tell people okay, here’s one way, you just need some server space, you can buy it at somebody’s data center, and everything you publish will be visible worldwide and indexed almost instantly by some site that everyone uses to find things online, you can use it on multiple devices, you can read it in space if you want, or you can buy huge truck-fulls of crushed tree pulp and put ink on these paper things, and then have other trucks go around the neighborhood... Why would you do that? That is crazy, nobody would choose to do things that way, but it is an awkward time when newspapers have this broader economic problem, they have to decide what is it we are going to be good at, what other things people will pay us either in money or in their attention to read, and one of the things that we try to serve, cut back on that, or just let other people take over that entirely a lot of tough decisions.

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Former WaPo Staffer Rob Pegoraro Talks About Newspapers' Decline (Video)

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  • by intermodal (534361) on Monday July 22, 2013 @03:13PM (#44353843) Homepage Journal

    People have bought newspapers over the years for many reasons, and thanks to the Internet, almost all of them have dried up. I can get news from any of a hundred or more countries from the comfort of my computer. No longer am I captive to newspapers to tell me how yesterday's stocks did, find a used car, or look up movie and stage showtimes. Meanwhile, local print news outlets have been bought by major news companies and turned into watered down versions of their parent company's product, with a few local fluff pieces.

    If there's a niche for print news left in the world, they'd better find it quick. If they don't, someone else will find it and put it on a website.

    • by jcr (53032)

      The future of newspapers is to follow whale oil lamps and buggy whips into history, but with a lot more bitching and moaning along the way.

      -jcr

      • No, there will be an equal amount of bitching and moaning. It will just be done from a soapbox that more poeple will notice than anyone did with the buggy whip and whale oil lamp crowd.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        The trouble is...when there are no more newspapers, what will we use to light the charcoal in our chimney starters for our grills?

        What will we use as a cheap source of paper to wrap things in for a move while packing?

        What will people line their bird cages with?

        What about the free coupons that come pre-printed in the Sunday paper?

        Oh well, I use it for all those (except no birds)....and I like to get up Sunday mornings, make some coffee, Irish it up a bit, and read through the Sunday paper, and clip food

        • In my area I think retailers realize there are too many consumers who don't get a newspaper, so a bundle of advertising is bulk-mailed every Thursday for free. It provides flyers for most of the area supermarkets, a few hardware and department store flyers, and occasionally some coupons. And a lot of it is still printed on newsprint. We also get the advertising envelope bundles like Valpak and the like.

          By the way, I don't think newspapers are even a particularly cheap source of paper, considering how th
          • by Mashiki (184564)

            Yep. In my area it's called "the shopping news"(though it covers the entire county, each city gets a custom version for their stores flyers) which is crammed full of flyers from all the stores in the area. The Tuesday ed. is pretty lightweight maybe 1/8" thick. The Thursday ed. is right up around 1.5" thick, sometimes 2-3" thick depending on the number of flyers crammed into it. The local businesses have been using it for 20-30 years now, since the local paper charged so much to put ads in or include t

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          1. The papertowel you cleaned or seasoned your cast iron pan with.

          2. they sell really stuff for this at that pet store, likely cheaper than a modern newspaper.

          3. Internet

        • by jcr (53032)

          I get plenty of junk mail every week. Serves all the same purposes as newspapers for me..

          -jcr

        • by Snotnose (212196)
          The trouble is...when there are no more newspapers, what will we use to light the charcoal in our chimney starters for our grills?

          Grocery store receipts. No kidding, buy a can of tomato sauce and get an 18 inch long receipt, plus an "at the register" coupon for tampons.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          Perhaps you should consider getting a job so you don't have to get evicted and move so often that your worry about the local paper disappearing is that you won't have packing materials.

          • by cayenne8 (626475)

            Perhaps you should consider getting a job so you don't have to get evicted and move so often that your worry about the local paper disappearing is that you won't have packing materials.

            There has been a LOT of moving post Katrina, chasing the contract jobs around...just now settling down really the past 2-3 years.

            I've got quite a good paying job actually.

        • ..use it to light the grill in the afternoons. You can't do that with an iPad....

          What makes you think that? [geek.com]

    • by morgauxo (974071)

      As much as I would like to use many websites to line a bird cage I don't think it can be done.

    • People have bought newspapers over the years for many reasons, and thanks to the Internet, almost all of them have dried up. I can get news from any of a hundred or more countries from the comfort of my computer.

      But not local news. By local I don't mean city, but neighborhood or small town. That's the niche that newspapers will more and more fall into. Leave the big picture to the internet, but until everyone, and I mean everyone, uses internet enabled readers, paper is still the most efficient way to get the small but important stories to every person on the street.

      • That would seem to vary by locale, your Royal Highness the Prince of Cups. I am told there are some locales where this is indeed the case, but my experience has been quite the opposite. Seldom do I encounter a local news source that provides these important stories. In fact, I was remarking how poor the roads were in our county, and suggested to my wife that we should petition our local Count, but his contact information could not be found. Would Your royal Highness happen to have that information for m

      • But not local news..

        Well patch.com is trying. I can't say they're yet but at least you get some local news out of their sites.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      Meanwhile, local print news outlets have been bought by major news companies and turned into watered down versions of their parent company's product, with a few local fluff pieces.

      That probably has more to do with the decline in newspapers and news magazines than the internet.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Quality of content in many local papers has simply withered through the years. Couple that with the 24hr up to the minute news cycle first introduced with cable news and now the internet, and the paper simply cannot compete.

      What newspapers need to do is move away from the endless twitter feed style of news and focus on more indepth stories and investigations. The kinds of investigative reporting that the rapid fire news cycle doesn't have time for.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      If there's a niche for print news left in the world, they'd better find it quick. If they don't, someone else will find it and put it on a website.

      How about simply having a pile of news available about stuff that one may not be interested in, but to simply have it available?

      Sure you can read it on a website, but if you "pull" information (request it), people tend to just pull the things that interest them.

      This leads to narrow mindedness and basically filtering of news. Take for example, /. - there's a pile

      • Don't get me wrong, I generally agree with your reasoning, the problem is that it's only valuable if people use it. If not, it's useless. A book on a shelf, for example, is completely useless unless someone takes it off the shelf and reads it. What you're describing is all kinds of information existing that generally won't get purchased, much less read.

        I think it's a stupid reality, but it's still reality.

    • TFA isn't really about the dead-tree edition. He's talking about news-gathering and -publishing in general.

      And there's still demand for that, but people have grown to think of that as "free". It continues to exist, paid for by online advertising, paywalls, and the remaining print subscribers. He's talking about the limitations and futures of those things, and what that's going to mean for news-gathering.

      • There's also the fact that people haven't been impressed by what they've seen enough to pay for more of it.

        There's good reporting out there, but when most people think of "news" these days they think of the incessant coverage of the Zimmerman trial, baseball suspensions that are even slower and more boring than baseball, and whatever vacation Barack Obama is on during any given week. You know, the same rubbish they report on every day. It's not even new stories.

        Relevance matters. Interest matters. Repor

        • by jfengel (409917)

          It's kind of weird. People are desperate for news, lots and lots of it, but they seem to care little for quality. They'd rather have wrong news now than right news tomorrow. They'd rather have Big Picture news that presents issues in cosmic ideological terms while ignoring the dull stuff that's generally far more relevant. And they seem to be willing to tune into the same Newsflash over and over, even if there isn't actually anything new in it, like hamsters at a feeder bar hoping that this press is going

          • People aren't after news. They're after information. They don't care what kind, whether it's useful, whether it's new, or whether it's even true. I genuinely think information addiction will be a legitimately recognized disorder before too long.

    • when was the last time a major newspaper or network broke a political scandal that wasn't sex. When was the last time they drove it home? Where were they when the Weapons of Mass Destruction turned out to be a few dud rockets? Where were they when Glass Steagal was gutted? Where are they when voter suppression is a fact of life in most of the Southern United states?

      They don't matter anymore because they're wholly owned subsidiaries of corporate America. Why would I care about anything they have to report
      • by schnell (163007)

        when was the last time a major newspaper or network broke a political scandal that wasn't sex.

        Do [washingtonpost.com] you [businessweek.com] actually [guardian.co.uk] read [thedailybeast.com] newspapers [ap.org], or do you just bitch about them?

        Where are they when voter suppression is a fact of life in most of the Southern United states?

        Why would I give a rats ass about the Zimmerman trial if I wasn't in that community?

        Do you even listen to yourself?

    • Community weeklies distributed for free in street boxes seem to be hanging in there.

      • That's true, but often these exist almost solely for their classified sections and are more likely to be ad-funded than based on subscribers.

  • So, it has come to this.
  • A transcript would be awesome...

  • by unamiccia (641291) on Monday July 22, 2013 @03:17PM (#44353891) Homepage
    Ironic that you can't actually read Mr. Pegoraro's comments. Sometime in the last five years or so it became easier to videorecord something than it is to write the same something down. Which may have something to do with the decline of newspapers.
  • why should i pay $$$ to read about stuff that happened a day or two ago? seriously, one time i saw one of the NYC tabloids have a sunday baseball game on the cover of their TUESDAY paper

    News is supposed to be about new stuff happening NOW

    • If they have in-depth analysis or other perspective worth reading people will buy it, maybe not so much the box scores...Sports Illustrated and Sporting News did well until their content creators were cut...
      • by alen (225700)

        its the same thing. baseball trade deadline is July 31. all the blogs are alive with trade rumors

        Sports Illustrated will probably print these rumors in September and the actual trades right about the time one of the newly traded guys is looking at his world series ring

    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      why should i pay $$$ to read about stuff that happened a day or two ago? seriously, one time i saw one of the NYC tabloids have a sunday baseball game on the cover of their TUESDAY paper

      Well, one thing they used to do, is in-depth, investigative reporting. You used to have guys like Woodward and Bernstein (sp?) that would go out, and dig and probe for stories, especially about our governmental leaders.

      Sadly, for many reasons, that seems to be a thing of the past and the one thing that print and even TV me

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      why should i pay $$$ to read about stuff that happened a day or two ago? seriously, one time i saw one of the NYC tabloids have a sunday baseball game on the cover of their TUESDAY paper

      News is supposed to be about new stuff happening NOW

      Why have a sports section at all? Why not just print the box scores and be done with it? Some people really do appreciate in depth reviews and analysis even if they already know what happened.

  • ...now, if only I could figure out which of the 9 randomly linked words in the summary actually points to it.

    If Rob Pegoraro is this bad at getting traffic perhaps he should have been fired.

  • There are a few stories where newspapers have comeback, kind of like the local hardware store after a Lowes or Home Depot comes to town, they have to bend their business to fit want the customers want to survive... http://www.couriernews.com/view/full_story/23040254/article--Guru--contends-newspapers-have-future [couriernews.com]
    • It's easy to follow the big national and international events with on-line sources. If anything, it's hard not to have them shoved down your throat (I'm almost surprised /. doesn't have an article about the Kate Middleton giving birth to the new heir; there has to be a techy, geek angle somewhere). What isn't so easy to get on-line are the local interest articles that you didn't know you were interested in. Things like the local city council discussing a change to zoning that will allow a Wallmart to b

  • So many of the papers leaned to the left so far, that many moderates and conservatives said "Forget about it." Amazing that he makes no allusion to that as a possible cause. I have subscribed all these years but am aware of how many lefties staff the newsroom and the editorial boards.
    • by robp (64931)

      I didn't mention that because I don't buy that as a cause. For one thing, if you think the Post is that much of a liberal hangout, try asking around, say, Daily Kos about Post editorials and op-eds--or how the paper covered the prelude and start of the war in Iraq a decade ago.

      For another, have you looked at the political demographics of the Washington area? I don't think tilting to the left would lose you that many readers here.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday July 22, 2013 @03:45PM (#44354169)

    In a nutshell, the lead-up to the Iraq war. This all happened as I was just getting into politics and at the time I was a voracious consumer of news, up to even trying to read legislation (not with much success as I have no legal training). It was blatantly obvious to anyone who followed the news at any beyond a cursory level that we were all being conned into a war and all of the major news outlets were in on the fix. Either they were enabling or simply too afraid to dissent. Even the mighty New York Times had Judith Miller serving as a government mouthpiece.

    It seems to be even worse now. I gave up on 60 minutes after watching Lara "look at my tits" Logan do everything short of fellate an Army general in an interview where he was selling unpopular US military strategy.

    • ...I was a voracious consumer of news, up to even trying to read legislation (not with much success as I have no legal training).

      That's okay. After all, legislators don't read it either.

  • Rob was basically the technology editor at the post for over a decade. I occasionally worked with him via phone calls and emails, but he and Mike Musgrove took me to lunch one day at The Madison [loewshotels.com] across the street to talk about how they wanted their ISP database set up. Walking into The Madison for lunch is kind of like walking into The White House, decor-wise, so it was kind of overkill for what we were looking to accomplish, but I was a kid at the time and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

    My first
    • by robp (64931)

      Thanks, man! I was only able to get that address because nobody else was using the twp.com domain for anything--and the alternative was using the Notes system the Post only managed to put down earlier this year.

  • by Cyrano de Maniac (60961) on Monday July 22, 2013 @04:32PM (#44354709)

    Geez. Mr. Pegoraro barely gets a word in here and there. And on top of that the whole interview gets bogged down in uninteresting irrelevant crap about circumventing paywalls and AdBlock. What could have been an interesting interview with Mr. Pegoraro regarding the paper to phosphors transition of the news industry was squandered with Roblimo telling us how cool and smart he is.

    I don't often complain about /., but this is the interview quality I'd expect coming from an average high school freshman. Completely not worth your time to watch.

    • by TechnoGrl (322690)
      My thoughts exactly! The person doing the interviewing has essentially zero interview skills - this is the very first /. video that I have ever watched. From the lack of quality content it likely will be my last. An extremely fascinating guest completely wasted by a high-school level interviewer.
    • by guttentag (313541)

      Mr. Pegoraro barely gets a word in here and there.

      Agreed. Let's have a do-over.

      How about an "Ask Rob Pegoraro About Traditional News Decline" story where people submit questions, moderators bring the cream to the top and Rob selects the ones he feels he can best answer? He'd be totally in his element because he did almost exactly that in The Post's Live Online discussions [washingtonpost.com] (where readers would submit tech questions and he would select the ones he wanted to answer). He wasn't at DigitalInk/WPNI when they started the transition to digital (for that you'd wa

      • by robp (64931)

        Well, maybe not this deep in the thread, where people won't see it. And maybe not this week, when I look to be running in circles on a few stories all due at about the same time. But I'd be happy to do some sort of extended Q&A here.

        (I'm not cool enough to do an AMA on Reddit, right? :)

  • Older guy here. I grew up reading the papers including The Washington Post (and the Star before it went under) and locally the Denver paper (the Post?) I currently do pick up the local city paper when I find it.

    I do understand that ads drive the business but since the loss of the Classifieds, the papers have inundated us with ads including under the fold and sticker ads on the front page that rip the page when you try to remove it. The ads inside were the worst though. A single column or less of news (mostl

  • The Idiocracy has won; take a look at what passes for news, it's just junk. Let's see, the standard "Cure for (insert horrible disease) is close at hand!". That's always popular. Or how about "West coast whore and her baby-daddy blah blah blah". And so on.

    These "news" organizations have cut their own throats by cutting their staff, killing investigative journalism, and subscribing to the Idiocracy news feeds.

    Great example: I always enjoyed reading a Wall Street Journal when I saw one laying around, so
  • I subscribe to the newspaper because there is no better place to get in depth political coverage for my state and community. Bloggers don't fill the void. TV news doesn't fill the void. Because it's not "sexy" news. It's just the stuff that is most likely affect me on a day-to-day basis. I'm 28, and I support my local newspaper in order to keep my local politicians honest.
  • When will the publishers agree to a Netflix like model?

You can do more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word. - Al Capone

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