When Dinosaurs Smoked Cigarettes …

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I’m going to wax nostalgic this morning as I’m wont to do.

Back in the days when dinosaurs smoked cigarettes and reporters typed their copy on Royal typewriters, there was basically a time lapse regarding when news was written and when it was delivered.

Those days are over.

People are twittering from airplane crashes, deaths of celebrities are hitting social media networks more quickly than mainstream media outlets can get it on their own websites or on television and the Associated Press has become somewhat irrelevant in recent years due to their own arrogance regarding the tubes on the Internet.

With that said, we need to be looking at small newspapers and radio stations in areas not commonly associated with big time news. Many dailies rely entirely too much on wire services to “fill their pages.” This attitude is lazy, of course, because people want news that impacts their daily lives. If everyone has the same news, why are we as consumers going to buy that product? This is, of course, something that many news outlets don’t talk about.

Having the same news and relying on wires is one of the gravest mistakes that newspapers are making and the issue comes down to what makes news unique because that is going to be key when readers pick up a newspaper.

At the paper I work at, we do not have the Associated Press, which I used to think was a disadvantage. Over time I have come to see that it is an asset as our news is focused on the community I live in. This, of course, makes the paper viable for the audience who are going to see their lives reflected in the local paper.

That’s the advantage and the selling point.

The main obstacle that many newspapers have at this point is finding that unique voice that makes a difference. For too long, we have relied on the easy path on filling our pages in our deadwood editions. Now, it’s a matter of the survival of the fittest as we see furloughs and layoffs around the country and social media networks beating mainstream news outlets.

People still want news. They just don’t want the same news as everyone else has. We are also not  getting the lapse of time to present the news that we used to have, however, we adapted when 24/7 news channels started and we survived the onset of radio news broadcasting.

So what is next?

The question of the day as we start this new week out is what makes your product significant to your readers when they may be able to get their news somewhere else?

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2 Comments

  1. Rich in Ohio said February 23, 2009 | Permalink

    There are 48,000 people in our county and we have two daily papers – one in each of the two cities here. The reason I still subscribe to the paper is because I want to know who’s died, what my friends’ kids and grandkids are doing in local school sports, what the county board of supervisors is up to, who’s having a fish fry this weekend, etc. My decision to renew my subscription is always based on how well they do that. All of their AP new stories are either old news – or irrelevant (and probably old, I just don’t care.)

  2. Jack Lail said February 23, 2009 | Permalink

    Even without the affect of wire stories, newspapers have developed a “tastes the same everywhere” menu of news that just makes them not as unique and individualistic (or shall we say human) as they were when “dinosaurs smoked cigarettes.”

2 Tweetbacks & Trackbacks

  1. […] They smoked cigarettes! Oh, she means news dinosaurs. When Dinosaurs Smoked Cigarettes … | NewsTechZilla. […]

  2. lbanner (lbanner) on February 24, 2009

    When Dinosaurs Smoked Cigarettes: “The main obstacle that many newspapers have at this point is finding that uni.. http://tinyurl.com/c9nr5g

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