Newspapers Made Significant Changes in 2008

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There are some intriguing new numbers being reported at Newspaper Death Watch on the correalation between newspapers and what they are currently doing in regard to establishing a greater web presence.

Here are some of the numbers:

  • Fifth-eight percent of newspaper websites post user-generated photos, 18% accept video and 15% publish user-generated articles.  That’s way up from the 24% that accepted such material in 2007.
  • Seventy five percent now accept article comments in some form, compared to 33% in 2007.
  • Facebook-like social networking tools are beginning to gain traction, with 10% of newspapers now using them, or double last year’s figure.
  • Three-quarters list some kind of most-popular ranking, such as most e-mailed or most commented. Just 33% had that feature in 2006.
  • You can now submit articles to social bookmarking sites like Digg and del.icio.us at 92% of newspaper sites, compared to only 7% in 2006.
  • Only 11% of websites now require registration to view full articles, compared to 29% last year.
  • Other stats: 57% have PDF editions, 20% have chat, and 40% offer SMS alerts.

Newspapers are evolving by creating a relationship with their readers. In a recent post, there was some discussion about younger readers relying heavily on the web as their news source. Also take into consideration that if newspapers are aggressive in creating a relationship between its deadwood product and it’s web presence, long-term it will only be a win-win situation.

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