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Dave Smith
Da Kine

263 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2009 :  15:04:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe the Honolulu Star-Bulletin was a little too quick with its layoffs, considering this headline that appeared on its on-line version:

"Star-Bulletin converting to taboid"

(http://www.starbulletin.com/news/breaking/Star-Bulletin_converting_to_taboid.html)

The article mentions that the S-B is cutting 17 editorial jobs and, judging from the above, apparently the first one to go was the person who was supposed to proof headlines.

Jesting aside, it's another sad day for media in Hawaii and particularly the Big Island, because the newspaper is also closing its neighbor island bureaus. That includes the one in Hilo, which follows the lead of the Honolulu Advertiser several months ago. While both intend to continue coverage here from Oahu, as a journalist myself I can tell you that it's not nearly the same as having someone living and working here full-time. Things will undoubtedly fall through the cracks.

Even more unfortunately, veteran journalist Rod Thompson, who has been manning the Big Isle bureau for many years, may be among the casualties. I hope not, as he has broad institutional perspective of the issues here, including those in Puna.

Times are tough for newspapers, which obviously will need to do more to adapt to the Internet and changes in the economy.

Dave Smith
Da Kine

263 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2009 :  15:18:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And apparently it's contagious. The Honolulu Advertiser's breaking news story initially mentioned "117" layoffs before it was corrected several minutes later.


Edited by - Dave Smith on 02/06/2009 15:18:59
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Dave Smith
Da Kine

263 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2009 :  15:23:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I see that the S-B has now caught the headline error and fixed it both in the story and on its main page.

Good luck to all those affected by the layoffs.


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JerryCarr
Punatic

2395 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2009 :  15:28:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Newspapers were already in trouble before the current economic crisis due to electronic competition. With advertising revenue falling sharply, the downward trend is accelerating. A lot of newspapers and newspaper conglomerates, large and small, are teetering on the edge. Too bad, really, because there is something nice about the "feel" of traditional printed media.

The loss of the Star-Bulletin's Big Island bureau will leave us even more in the dark and even more in the hands of the Stephens Media monopoly. IMHO, the Tribune-Herald is slow on the uptake and generally unwilling to significantly challenge the powers that be. The introduction of Stephens' "alternative" outlet, Big Island Weekly, was seen by many as a means to eliminate the Hawaii Island Journal. How long BIW maintains a semblance of editorial independence remains to be seen.

Cheers,
Jerry


Edited by - JerryCarr on 02/06/2009 15:29:40
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Damon
Punatic

3738 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2009 :  15:48:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Remember Dave...

I've been bugging you to start a blog for awhile now.

When will people believe me that newspapers are a thing of the past?

"...With employees of the Honolulu Advertiser preparing for a Sunday vote on a proposed contract settlement that includes a 10% pay cut and other concessions, folks down the street in the Star-Bulletin newsroom are wondering if the other shoe is going to drop on them.

Bulletin staffers have been notified of an afternoon “all staff” meeting. No topic announced. A meeting involving management personnel reportedly took place yesterday..."
Ian Lind

Damon Tucker's Weblog

Edited by - Damon on 02/06/2009 15:52:03
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Jon
Da Kine

USA
890 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2009 :  16:00:30  Show Profile  Visit Jon's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The concept of a news paper is a good one, but it will need to be updated to 21 century technology or it will die.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald has an online version that is nothing more than a PDF of the printed paper. This is backwards, they better get a good format for the online version and print the paper from it, as the online users will be soon outnumber the the physical users. They also better stop just reprinting crap from all over the country, by the time they get it in the paper I have already read it online elsewhere. A local news paper is supposed to do more then just reprint the New York Times junk anyway.




-----------------------------------------------------------
I do not believe that America is better than everybody else...
America "IS" everybody else.
HBAT
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Dave Smith
Da Kine

263 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2009 :  16:33:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Damon, I wouldn't be too quick to write newspapers' obituary. Despite the dogged efforts of the Hunter Bishops and Ian Linds of the world, blogs still aren't able to provide the quality, depth and reach of a staff of trained, experienced (and paid) writers. And the demand for local news is probably the main reason we haven't seen all newspaper operations outsourced like the copy editing and page design already being done in India.

Of course, if newspapers keep laying off reporters there could eventually be wholesale changes, such as an increasing move toward strictly online publications. But, aside from the hobbyists, those also require staff which requires salaries, and since charging for online subscriptions hasn't worked very well so far (people have tended to go where it's free), a new model involving ad revenues will have to be developed.

Because advertising is never going to go away, newspapers will continue to exist in some form. They just may be harder to recognize.



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Damon
Punatic

3738 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2009 :  23:52:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave, I'm not writing obituaries. My specialty is the Enquirer, remember.

Believe it or not, there are many blogs that provide "quality, depth, and reach" as well as "trained experienced writers" (mine is not one of them obviously)

Some people do get paid to blog (I do albeit not that much). Some of the Advertisers own journalists were required to write a blog for a period of time if I remember correctly.

Many of our local journalists and television news reporters are tweeting their news long before it hits the newspapers or television broadcasts.

As we move into a digital society... people don't need or want all the "news" necessarily. They want to see things that interest them... NOT what interests the public.

Thats why people can go online and choose what news source they want to go to now. If it's the Seattle times online... so be it... if it's the Star-Bulletin Tabloid... then so be it... If it's Big Island Weekly/Chronicle... so be it... At least people have the choice to go and look where they want to get there news from and the monopoly isn't just tied to one or a few corporations on the mainland.

If you want to read local Pahoa stuff... I suggest you type the words "Pahoa **** (enter word) ) and see what sites come up on Googles search.... near the top? ;)

I think I know at least one interesting read that seems to consistently pop up.

Can any newspaper provide what I just did on my blog regarding tonights zero waste meeting? (mind you I was there to participate and not blog on it as I would be doing at most of the stuff I blog on any ways!)

1. Provide Pictures (as many as I did)
2. Provide it in as timely a fashion
3. Put in a video clip of a key person involved
4. Provide direct links to more information
5. Easily be corrected and relinked to down the road if needed?

From the Tribune Herald's Own Website:

Over 7000 visitors per day!

My site alone gets about 1500 visits a day.

Now let's think about this. One person working and just blogging random stories throughout the day get's this many visits...

But then an entire NEWSPAPER with a STAFF OF HOW MANY.... can only MANAGE TO PULL in 7000 Visits A DAY???

Oh... and by the way... one of my blog postings last week was ranked #5 in the WORLD... I doubt the Tribune Herald will ever have 30,000 people visit there site in a day. The proof is right here (#5) Behind CNN and ahead of Apple, People, and Fox News.

So show me some data about newspapers locally and how many visits they get and what it costs to run one.... Versus the amount of hits my blog gets and the amount it costs to run that.

Bye bye newspapers!

Newspapers aren't dead yet... but geez... it's getting close to the end of the time for them.

Damon Tucker's Weblog

Edited by - Damon on 02/07/2009 00:06:47
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kaptkimo
Da Kine

USA
169 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2009 :  07:37:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We recently dropped our "Herald Tribune" subscription. The Newspaper just didn't carry enough local news, mostly AP and Stephens Media pap that was available sooner and better on the net. I learn much more from the local blogs and keep them all bookmarked. Add in Google News, Drudge, Fox news, Yahoo, etc. I'm pretty much covered. Craigslist, PW Non-classified, & Freecyle round it out.

Just last week I was talking to two different people at Pahoa elementary who have recently dropped their HT subscriptions.

Here is an article I read on using E-book readers for newspapers. You might find it interesting:

http://www.alleyinsider.com/2009/1/printing-the-nyt-costs-twice-as-much-as-sending-every-subscriber-a-free-kindle

My wife has been lobbying me for a Kindle or one of the new small laptops (the new flash drive ones), she can carry around for book-reading on the go. Here is an article on them:

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9127538&intsrc=hm_list

Edited by - kaptkimo on 02/07/2009 07:38:14
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Dave Smith
Da Kine

263 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2009 :  11:54:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Damon, thanks for helping me make my points. Many of those news sources you mentioned, such the Advertiser blogs and the tweets, exist (so far, at least) because they are part of those journalist's day jobs. And most of those other online sources you mentioned ARE newspapers.

Your numbers also are a bit misleading. In case you forgot, in addition to the 7,000 hits the Tribune-Herald receives, it also puts out some 18,000 newspapers, many of which are read by several or more people. That means its coverage probably reaches more than 50,000 people a day, at least 30 times the number of hits you receive. And I'm guessing you spend most of your day on your blog, which most people do not have the luxury of doing. The time required to do one right is the main reason I don't have one. I have to make a living, and few blogs provide that.

And of course the local newspaper should have covered the zero waste meeting. Remember my point about local news. People will always want to know what's going on around them, and not just in Puna. It's unfortunate that the Trib Š and after working there for nearly 20 years I know a thing or two about it Š places community service at such a low priority. How else can you characterize its illegal firing of two reporters with a combined 35 years of experience in this community simply because they chose to stand up for the legal rights of their colleagues?

I don't fault the staffers in all this; they are doing what they can. But they suffer through another example of the Trib's lack of community dedication: the size of the staff it chooses to hire. According to national averages (of course those figures are changing some lately), the Trib's editorial staff has long been less than half the size it should be for its circulation numbers. And that doesn't even count the unique challenges here, such as culture and geography. Having to cover 4,000 square miles with a handful of reporters puts an incredible strain on the staff, especially for one with low morale (see paragraph above). I'm hoping that my return to the staff, after the newspaper's appeals run their course, will help that somewhat.

The above points are the prime reasons why the Trib's circulation numbers are stagnant or dropping (it doesn't release them any more) despite East Hawaii's rapid population increase. But for many years the Trib has been one of Stephens Media's cash cows, and as long as management keeps choosing large profits over service, there will be little change.

I'm sorry if you're miffed that I didn't mention you in the same sentence with Hunter and Ian. I do appreciate the time and effort you expend putting up very large amounts of content, and I see that you're making more of an effort to report matters responsibly. You'll notice I haven't accused you of Enquiresque posts for some time. But maybe you could use a little of that time to review your old grammar text? Merely admitting your failings in that area doesn't make it more professional or easier to read. And saying that one of your strong points is that the content can "easily be corrected" doesn't do much to instill credibility.

But even Tiffany and your extensive efforts don't cover all events and issues. It's obvious both of you are relying more and more on press releases, many of which are printed verbatim (Tiffany rewrites hers more). While that's good to an extent, most if not all of of them are already available online, and the tough part Š and that includes the time it requires Š is placing them in context. Years ago, an editor told me that the most important thing about journalism is "perspective, perspective, perspective." Facts are good, he would say, but WHAT DOES IT ACTUALLY MEAN? I'm not criticizing you for your use of press releases because it's good to get the word out, and all newspapers do it to some extent. It's just that blogs don't have the (wo)manpower to cover all the bases that newspapers do, such as community items, obituaries, announcements, etc. It's simply a matter of scale. For example, how many people read your blog for the coupons?

I'm not knocking blogs; I read and enjoy many of them regularly. It's just that while blogs and sources like Hawaii247 are filling some online gaps, there's still a place for newspapers. Just expect some major changes as they look for ways to adapt to the 21st century.


Edited by - Dave Smith on 02/07/2009 12:15:13
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PaulW
Punatic

4917 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2009 :  12:15:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Damon, congratulations on your blog, you put a lot of work into it.

I wouldn't get too excited by those Wordpress rankings, though.
For one, it only counts Wordpress blogs and two, they're using a
"special formula" to calculate the listings.

Still, 1500 visits a day is quite an achievement!

**Edited to correct the number of visits. Still impressive, though.

Edited by - PaulW on 02/07/2009 12:45:12
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Devany
Punatic

USA
1410 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2009 :  13:08:34  Show Profile  Visit Devany's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kapt,

I agree with you, the Herald Tribune does not have enough local news or local writers for that matter. It is owned by a mainland conglomerate who does not care about the community or even quality journalism. It is really sad. Today's paper only had two articles written by staff on the front page, though all but one were stories about Hawaii. 90% of this paper (other than sports) is written by mainland AP writers who get their work put into a big pool for anyone to dip into.

The food section is completely embarrassing to me as a food writer. Only Audrey Wilson's weekly column is local, everything else is always 100% mainland and much of it has no real relevance to what our lives here are like, let alone the bounty of foods we have locally and the importance of staying sustainable and local because we live on an island. Even the governor is trying to support and encourage sustainable living when it comes to food sources and the paper cannot even cover that story except as a side note to another article written by an AP writer.

I have an issue with just cancelling your subscription though, that paper is supporting our economy at the very least and a community our size with no paper is a BAD thing, a sad thing in fact. Declining subscriptions only make it a worse paper. Their should be a way to voice our opinion, like a week where everyone who has an issue with the paper and still has a subscription makes a one week “vacation hold” for exactly the same dates, a boycott of sorts. This would voice our dissatisfaction as well as our disdain and the effect that we would have on the economy of the newspaper if we did all decide to abandon it.

While blogs are terrific and online sites are great, a newspaper has the greatest source of information about a community that can be found in one place. Now if someone were able to truly create a virtual local paper, it would be wonderful, but nobody has a budget or the time it takes to do all of that on their own.

quote:
Originally posted by kaptkimo

We recently dropped our "Herald Tribune" subscription. The Newspaper just didn't carry enough local news, mostly AP and Stephens Media pap that was available sooner and better on the net. I learn much more from the local blogs and keep them all bookmarked. Add in Google News, Drudge, Fox news, Yahoo, etc. I'm pretty much covered. Craigslist, PW Non-classified, & Freecyle round it out.

Just last week I was talking to two different people at Pahoa elementary who have recently dropped their HT subscriptions.





Aloha au i Hawai`i,
devany

www.eastbaypotters.com
www.myhawaiianhome.blogspot.com
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Damon
Punatic

3738 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2009 :  16:16:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave...

Trust me... I don't rely upon press releases!

They get sent to me... I put them up.

90% of the ones I put up... are put up at least 24 hours before they even go on the county site....

How do I know... Because I receive the information at the exact same time.... and I watch for when it's put on the counties site.

I've been begging Mr. Bishop for the last 40 some days now to get the county site up so I don't have to print any releases!!!

It's not my fault the counties web site is archaic.

It's also not my fault newspapers are unwilling to give the public the exact words as they come from the sources and they pretend to write stories up sometimes.... ala BIC.

I won't do that... my blog... you get the release... and it even states MEDIA RELEASE. If it has been released already on the internet I will link it...

But as I say... 90% of the time... I RELEASE COUNTY or STATE releases...it's because they have been sent to me directly and I simply cut and paste them onto my site...(with a little clean up at times) (No... I don't go back 8-16-48 hours later after it has been posted on the counties site and then link the URL to the counties page).

Remember dave... I'm not a journalist... I don't research most of the stuff I blog about. I go to events I'm interested in... and write or blog about them.

The rare times I do actually research something... is if it's something that I just don't believe at all or just sounds too strange to be true.

In truth... I just surf the net... see things that interest me... and put em down in my little online diary that is open to the public. Yeah I go to a lot of public things... but should that stop me from writing about them?

I've always felt that everything and anything is worth blogging about... I just don't feel like putting everyone to sleep with it on my blog at times.

I guess that's why I have my "Myspace" page.... that's more for just putting everything and anything down.... or actually NO TWITTER is the place to put everything and anything.... (I'm just glad I'm not a breastfeeder... why do females feel the need to tweet that they are about to go breast feed to the world?)

Dave... Yeah I spend a lot of time on the computer all day... but not much time at all on my blog.... that's for sure.

Damon Tucker's Weblog
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Damon
Punatic

3738 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  20:04:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
..Journalism professor Ann Auman prefers the print edition but many of her students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa are looking online for headlines.

"There were 20 students there. I asked them, 'Where do you get your news?' And only four of them get the paper at their homes," Auman said...


http://tinyurl.com/crbwt5

It's not dieing... but it is fast

Damon Tucker's Weblog
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