Home' Local Media Today : April 2008 Contents APRIL 2008
New England/Mid-Atlantic John Szefc
Dennis Richardson (731) 694-2149
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Larry Grimes, President
their flagship site Bakersfield.com and
nearly 30% of their local traffic now
comes from community generated con-
tent. “I think we’re a great example of
the positive things that can happen
when you invest in social media, both
for a general news site like
Bakersfield.com as well as for niche
sites like Bakotopia,” says Fulton.
Free Borrell Market-Specific
All SNA Interactive Symposium regis-
trants will also receive a customized
report, valued at $1500, covering every
county in their newspapers’ distribution
area showing media usage and online
spending by category. The actionable
data will be reviewed in a three hour
kickoff training session conducted by
Borrell’s Bill Caudill, Director of
Internet Sales Development. He’ll show
the most effective ways to sell online
using your market specific research
The Power of We –
Why Newspapers Must Open Up
What have we learned from the major pure plays that rely on the public for con-
tent and commentary?
Besides the billions that they are now worth, we learned that the public wants a
voice. They want to “express themselves”, provide opinions and even be
involved in the reporting of the news. We live in a facebook society. “Digital
natives” don’t remember a time without a computer. Or a time without a profile
on a social networking site. Different times call for different measures.
Yet, our industry has been so slow to respond.
We guard our sites using our journalistic
integrity as the reason. And of course our
integrity is important but we MUST find a
way to let the public in.
For the second year in a row I attended the We
Media Conference. It is amazing to see the
amount of venture capital that is being invest-
ed into sites that revolve around citizen con-
tributions. Even the Knight Foundation is
investing in sites that are using the tools of cit-
izen journalism over traditional newspaper
sites. In fact, they told us that very few news-
paper companies even applied for digital inno-
vation grants in their 21st Century Challenge.
So what is a community newspaper web site
to do? First check out the sites that I referenced in the “We Media” article on
page 17. If that isn’t enough to scare the heck out of you, think about how you
can fill that role in your community.
I understand the argument that many editors make about allowing unedited com-
mentary on the newspaper web site. I understand that people can abuse that priv-
ilege. So until we figure it out, why not launch other sites that are not affiliated
with the newspaper, to give the public the opportunity to be involved citizens?
Why not do it before some other competitor does?
I also want to commend the Ft Myers News Press for being a pioneer on this
front. They took many risks and had many traditional editors shaking their
heads. Executive editor Kate Marymont told We Media attendees that she does-
n’t get as warm of a reception at ASNE conferences. I bet not. And yet they have
an amazing site. They were able to use the public in several investigative report-
ing projects that uncovered problems with the local government. Marymont says
that without the public’s help, these stories would not have been possible.
SNA will take this debate live at the E&P Interactive Conference during a ses-
sion on May 14. Dale Peskin from iFOCOS and producer of the We Media con-
ference will fiercely debate why publishers must relinquish control over “their”
content and will go so far as to say they will be out of business if they don’t.
John Humenik, Editor & Publisher of the Arizona Daily Star will take the other
side. John is one of SNA’s most progressive and innovative editors. He is not
stuck in the old ages and unwilling to change. He has valid concerns about how
to let the public in while maintaining journalistic standards. This is one you
won’t want to miss. Page 1 carries more details about this important conference
Whatever side you are on, I do think you should look at opportunities in your
market with either your existing web site or by creating new ones. If you don’t,
someone else will and this is our turf to protect!
From the sna
“They were able
to use the public
in several inves-
lems with the
continued from page 1
SNA Interactive Symposium
May 13, 2008
Embedded within the broader E&P Conference running May 14-15 at
same location. The Rio Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, NV
Full details and online registration at www.suburban-news.org
Classified Avenue (formerly
SCAN) is off to a terrific start in
2008 and with that comes 1st
quarter rebates totaling $35,000
(a 27% increase over last year!)
to participating newspapers.
Individual members will receive
rebate checks ranging from $300
$800 depending on total circu-
lation participating in the Classified
Avenue network for the 1st
quarter. Rebate checks will be sent later
this month to newspapers who met the
March 21st tearsheet deadline and
The Classified Avenue network has
grown to over 15,000,000 circulation
reflecting 1020 newspapers from the
U.S. and Canada. With full run and
zoned buys, this classified ad network is
ideal for certain categories of business
and Sales Manager Deanna Lewis is
delighted to help non-members evaluate
the worth of becoming a Classified
Avenue participant. If you have not
already explored this classified enhanc-
ing and revenue generating tool, you
should definitely do so now. In addition
to sharing in the rebates, participating
newspapers can also sell into the net-
work and retain very generous commis-
sions for themselves.
Contact Classified Avenue Manager Deanna
Lewis at email@example.com
or 888-486-2466 to discuss the value of
The Check Really Is In The Mail!
Classifed Avenue rebates increase
27% for First Quarter 2008
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