News Today

Daily deadlines did in the newspaper industry.

VALLEYWAG: 5 ways the newspapers botched the Web

The pressure of getting to press, the long-practiced art of doom-and-gloom headline writing, the flinchiness of easily spooked editors all made it impossible for ink-stained wretches to look farther into the future than the next edition.

I believe there is a little truth to this statement. The daily pace of the news is intense and it's hard to maintain a focused vision for the future when the news is always happening.

Many daily paper publications are being dragged into the future. The primary problem facing all of them is finding the balance between slowly accepting shrinking circulation and being at the very edge of that ever shrinking bubble and migrating to a purely internet presence. News organizations need to maintain a connection to their community so that when there is no longer a paper reminder of who produces the news on their doorstep, the community is still aware of the source for quality news and information. A transition to a low-overhead increasingly web based presence will happen fast or many of these publications won't get the chance to make it happen. The other problem with paper news is that once printed and delivered is yesterdays news, it's not relevant to the news-now, news-everywhere crowd.

The area of concern for me, as an infrequent news website reader, is quality. I'm concerned when I am overwhelmed with advertisements and have trouble navigating. I most often visit news sites which are simple, clean looking, and informative. They should be simple to navigate, be friendly to mobile browsers and should offer feeds. I don't even care if there are high quality advertisements within the feeds if they are relevant. I want more community, which is something generic news portals don't have. Take a site like Digg for instance, it should be instantly apparent what is important to people right now. What Digg lacks is quality, generally because the content is 99.999 percent generated by its users. I'm not saying another Digg is what is needed but certainly there is a trend towards social networking, dynamic content based on an individuals preferences.

* The Slashdot community ponders this article.