Our favorite Washington Globe reporter!

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USA Network’s limited run miniseries nighttime almost soap “Political Animals” puts up a site from The Washington Globe — The Washington Post’s doppelgänger (DUH!) in the show.

Susan Berg (Carla Gugino), one of the characters, is the hotshot reporters going after THE story , any story really.

While most real-world mainstream newspapers wouldn’t go out on the limb with a staff photo like this now, I’m betting that it’s just going to be a short few years when newspapers will try this sort of “sex sells” approach.

Another one bites the dust: Weekly Reader gets axed.

Scholastic has owned Weekly Reader, a magazine aimed at children and what can only be described as a grammar school must-read, for about six months and today they’ve announced that they’re shutting the 110-year-old publication down. …  More specifically, sources told Kosman and Kelly, “subscribers to each of the most popular editions, which cost as little as $4.99 a year, have fallen from 1 million in 1990 to less than two-thirds of that figure, according to sources.”

What happens now, as Kosman and Kelly explain, is that Scholastic will fold Weekly Reader into Scholastic news and will only retain five of the Weekly Reader’s 60 employees.

Newspaper owners: Why don’t you step up and subsidize this for all school kiddies?

Don’t you want future newspaper readers?

I guess not.

That’s too bad.

Chalk this up to another sign of the ongoing newspaper apocalypse.

File this under “any monkey with a _______ can…..”

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I want one of these cameras that magically turns reporters into photojournalists!

Looks like the management mentality is that anyone with a camera can be a photojournalist.

Well, NO!

A reporter may get lucky and get a serviceable shot, but they’re not likely trained to be photographers. Ever heard of composition and lighting? Just because there are millions of pretty landscapes on the Internets does not mean someone with a point and shoot can do a photojournalist’s job.

Much like most photojournalists leave the writing to reporters, reporters should not be thought of a s one-for-one replacement for photojournalists.

Maybe the next step is had reporters a dictionary and fire the copy editors. Oh, wait. Newspapers are already doing that.

And they wonder why the industry is going downhill so fast.

Fifth graders fact check Washington Post, send ‘Titanic’ letter correcting mistakes

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Nothing like a little old school red penning to put a newspaper in a place. Worse yet, it’s silly mistake. Even worse is when you get called out by fifth graders who know how to look up facts and then school you by sending you a giant “get it right” letter!

Newspapers as embroidered art

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Artist Lauren DiCioccio takes an old issue of The New York Times, wraps it in muslin and then hand-embroiders on the front of the fabric. Viola! It’s not a newspaper, it’s ART!

I have very vague recollections of doing something like this back in junior high school art class — except, of course, not as sophisticated.

Hit the link to see more of Lauren’s work.

Farm It, Milk It, Feed It — Which newspaper do you work for?

Farm It – Keep doing what you do today as well as you can in the hopes of optimizing the existing franchise for as long as possible. This presumes that (a) the company will operate in a reasonably hospitable and predictable market environment and (b) management is sufficiently skillful to execute smartly with the available resources. 

∷ Milk It – Accept the inevitable decline and fall of the traditional newspaper model and then whack costs to extract the most profits from the decaying business for as long as possible. On the day you no longer can turn a profit, throw the keys on the table and call it quits. 

∷ Feed It – Determine that even the most proficient management cannot overcome the fundamental changes in the marketplace that have been cutting readership and revenues since the Internet arrived two decades ago. Instead of retreating, however, you leverage the waning strengths of the legacy business and invest aggressively in new digital products to reposition it for the future. 

My good friend the Newsosaur outlines three newspaper models. Which approach is your local newspaper taking?

Hit the link to read more.