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Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans Times-Picayune’

As LSU’s Director of Student Media, I occasionally fire off messages to student editors and station managers with suggestions that I usually expect them to ignore. They are independent and they are rightly in charge of their newsrooms, and I didn’t follow a lot of faculty advice when I was their age either.

I sent this message to the editorial board of our newspaper, the Daily Reveille, on Oct. 1:

Message to students

I just checked. I didn’t carbon anyone from the New York Times on the message. But the Times ran a front-page editorial this morning, calling for an end to “the Gun Epidemic in America.”

My students sort of followed my advice (or moved that direction on their own), running some opinions on the front page but more frequently than I suggested. That’s OK, too: The Reveille’s front page and editorials should reflect their judgment, not mine. I’m proud of their work, which has included excellent opinion pieces by columnists and the editorial board on page-one this semester, about such topics as mental health and racial discrimination at bars near campus.

As Kristen Hare’s Poynter piece that I shared with the student editors indicated, newspapers are increasingly responding to important issues by stating opinions on newsprint once reserved for “straight news”: the front page. The New York Times is following this trend, not leading it (nor am I, obviously). Hare’s piece was prompted by this Chicago Sun-Times cover: (more…)

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Just a quick post to call your attention to John Paton’s blunt but accurate appraisal of the Advance Publications’ cutbacks in staff and print frequency.

As has been extensively chronicled (including by me), Advance cut the staff of the New Orleans Times-Picayune and cut the newspaper back from daily publication to three times a week.

John acknowledges that Advance handled the whole move poorly, chewing up a lot of goodwill. But, he says, “I support them because their industry is my industry and it will not survive without dramatic, difficult and bloody change.”

If you don’t think the news business is in a fight for survival, read Rick Edmonds’ piece on how the Washington Post, one of journalism’s most iconic organizations, is faring. Read how much value newspapers’ print advertising has lost in the past six years.

I think and hope John (my boss; yeah, this looks like sucking up, but he’s right) is making the right moves to help Digital First Media and the news business find the path to a prosperous future. I hope Advance’s moves work successfully. And I hope the Post finds its path to success.

Yesterday’s news produced and delivered at high cost in print is not a business model that will survive.

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New Orleans Times-Picayune: We publish home hell and high waterI couldn’t comment right away on this week’s announcement that the New Orleans Times-Picayune is cutting print frequency back from daily to three days a week.

In part I waited because I was finishing timely posts on copy editing and student media and doing some other work, but I could have set things aside to weigh in on the New Orleans news. I waited mostly because I wanted to reflect on this a while.

Some observations after thinking this through for a couple days:

  1. The New Orleans Times-Picayune will always hold a special spot among journalism heroes because of its staff’s performance in covering Hurricane Katrina.
  2. I have a personal fondness for the Times-Picayune journalists, recalling their support for my staff in Cedar Rapids when we experienced and covered our flood of 2008.
  3. I always ache when a newsroom staff is cut, and this is a severe cut, following earlier severe cuts.
  4. Advance Publications deserves praise for continuing its commitment to the New Orleans community during and after Katrina.
  5. Most newspapers’ future probably is not daily. When a newspaper cuts its frequency, I hope it is not just cutting back, but making the right steps to build a digital future. (more…)

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