Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Annals of bad strategy: Newsweek is a well that never runs dry

Jack Shafer has a smart piece on the non-synergistic relationship between print and cable news:

TV or Not TV?

Newsweek makes the publisher's case for not sending print journalists onto TV news shows.

I've hit this point a number of times.

Newspaper killers mourn the passing of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

ESPN is killing newspapers in other ways. For instance, they, like many primetime cable news programs, “cover a story” by talking to the beat reporters who are actually covering the story. In essence, they let newspapers bear the cost while ESPN or Nancy Grace shares in the benefit.

(I’ve long found it puzzling that publishers and editors let their reporters give away their expensive product to the competition. Don’t they know about unsold cows and free milk?)

Cable news: get it fast, get it wrong

In the past, reporters and producers would conduct interviews, verify information and add context, write and edit the story, and then present the audience with a two-minute report. Cable, however, just fills air time with raw interviews. The audience has to do the work of verifying and assessing the information.

It is cost-effective because it is so cheap.

What i don't understand is why the respectable media plays along. Why do real reporters go on shows like "Nancy Grace" and provide grist for the mill? Many of these pseudo-newscasts would wither on the vine if they did not have real reporters doing their work for them

Media's Shifting Business Model

There is a bleed-over for print journalism. Newsweeklies like Time will find it harder to maintain their niche-slower but more knowledgeable-when their reporters show up cheek-by-jowl with pundits and spinners on shows that specialize in raw talk.

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