PR Campaigns – The blog

March 22, 2009

Blogs Killing the Newspaper Star

Filed under: Fidelis — maxlawrencehollister @ 7:41 pm
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Over the last few years, sport writers (in particular baseball beat writers) have had to evolve because of the ever changing times of media. No longer can a beat writer just file their stories for the morning’s paper, or simply post it to their media Web site. Now beat writers are required to write blogs. And I don’t believe that they get paid anymore, so they are doing more work for less money.

 

I think it’s important to note that from the beginning, I haven’t liked reading any blogs, even if the author is credible. I don’t like the way they are written and they seem to me to be a little unprofessional, meaning they are too informal. Also, there are so many of them and everyone has an opinion. A lot of blogs out there are just blow-hards trying to get their opinion out there…assuming that someone wants to hear them, such as Curt Schilling and Rosie O’Donnell.

 

San Francisco Giants have three beat writers who travel with the team and are with the team everyday. They are required to write a story almost everyday and sometimes two or three. Even in the first few days of training camp when there is nothing to report, they still write something. I will use Andrew Baggarly for my example. He is a beat writer from the San Jose Mercury News. He not only has to write a story each day, a feature once or twice a week, but he is required to write a blog as well. I feel that most of his blogs topics have already been covered. But media companies want blogs, because blogs are whats hot right now.

 

So are blogs the future of sports journalism? I hope not. A few years ago, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, allowed bloggers to have press credentials for press conferences and games. He didn’t allow for them to be the locker room after the game, simply because of the lack of room.

 

The problem I have with bloggers, who don’t work for a reputable media company, is that they are not journalists and more than likely they didn’t go to journalism school. So what makes them credible? How can we trust what they write? And why should they have access to media credentials? If I could get media credentials to write a blog, then why am I wasting my time and money getting a degree?

 

So what do you all think? Do you like blogging? Do you read very many blogs? Why or why not? Do you feel that paid journalist who work for the media should be required to write a blog, among the other stories they write?

 

I know that blogs are the future; I’m just an old-fashioned guy who likes good-old news reporting and not loosely written blogs. Maybe someone can bring me around to see the light.

March 16, 2009

Changing of the Guard: Print Goes Online or No Where

Filed under: Step Up Communications — Mickey Siegel @ 11:44 pm
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A lot has been made of the near 150 year old Seattle Post-Intelligence closing down its print division tomorrow to go strictly to web-content only. Newspapers have been struggling for many years now and it seems that the current recession has pushed a few over the cliff. The Post-Intelligence’s closure of its print department comes a couple weeks after Denver’s Rocky Mountain News closed its doors permanently. It now seems that the Tucson Citizen will also be publishing its final issue on Saturday. With the struggles that are being seen at newspapers across the country, how does this effect public relations professionals?

As with any change in an industry, there are some rough patches that will be seen as well as some great opportunities. Being an optimistic person, I’ll tackle the positives to be seen and then lightly touch on the negatives.

Innovative ideas that at one time would be dismissed are now being valued and accepted.

Voice of San Diego is a non-profit, independent web-content newspaper that does not charge a single penny for its service. Unlike many other newspapers that have ventured into primarily web-content based news, Voice of San Diego has very little advertising on its site. Its principle source of income comes from donations and unlike newspaper conglomerates, they do not have any stockholders that need to constantly see a profit. I hope that this kind of journalism catches on in other cities because it is also very beneficial for PR professionals. Voice of San Diego only has a few dozen staff members, so the information supplied by PR professionals creates a symbiotic relationship that allows both PR firms and businesses to work harmoniously with the news organization.

As previously mentioned, the Rocky Mountain News has left Denver for good, but the former newspaper’s journalists don’t think so. They plan on opening an online subsciption news site. In a similar manner, the Rocky Mountain News‘ new online site, INDenverTimes.com, will need plenty of content to attract the “50,000 by April 23” that the journalists are hoping to get. Where would these journalists look for the plethora of content needed to grow their new venture? To the trusty (maybe not the right word to some people) PR professionals who have plenty of information about businesses, organizations and events.

A decrease in newspapers could lead to an even greater distrust in journalism institutions.

I was once lucky enough to have a conversation with Len Downie, the former executive editor of the Washington Post and now a part of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. I asked him his thoughts on the growing distrust that the American public has with news organizations. His response to me was that journalists should not worry if the public chooses to believe what they are printing. If journalists begin catering to what the public wants to hear, bias easily sets in. With the closing of newspapers across the country and newspapers caring more than ever before about what appeals to the public, bias is more prevalent than ever. Len Gutman in the Valley PR Blog makes a point that it goes beyond just the conglomerates and the economy in regards to newspapers crumbling left and right:

We can blame the corporate behemoths that have placed shareholder value over news value. And we can blame TV and the Internet. But ultimately we have to look at ourselves as a society and ask why we seem to no longer value real, hard-hitting, unbiased, journalism.

To bring this full circle as PR professionals, we need unbiased and quality journalism. The more newspapers and media conglomerates cater specifically to the public and ignore the journalistic principles that dominated newspapers in the 60s and 70s, the more people will become disenfranchised with news. People need to read the news because without the news, our industry is in just as much jeopardy as the newspapers.

Got a little more pessimistic than I thought I would, but I am still surprised to the lack of news coverage on the soon to be lack of news coverage. I addressed the positives and the negatives that I see in the recent fall outs of many newspapers, but what did I miss and what did I dazzle you all with?

March 2, 2009

Hold the presses….literally

Filed under: LAM Creative — allund @ 10:04 pm
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Everyday we hear on the news, internet, Facebook, Twitter and even in our classes that communication is changing.  I often wonder if this change  is a good change?

On Thursday the Rocky Mountain News printed their final edition.  The newspaper had been reporting on Colorado news for over 150 years.  On Waggener Edstrom’s blog “Let’s Define Death” president Frank Shaw talked about the certain demise of several major newspapers. Here is the list of Newspapers that he listed are in trouble on his blog.  He acquired the list from the Silicon Alley Insider.

We all know that newspapers are fading fast, but it is still sad to see them go. I remember as a child watching my mom come home every night and religiously read the newspaper. Things have changed she is lucky if she gets through one paper a week. Now she mostly gets her news from the internet because it is faster and more concise. The internet plus sites like Craigslist who have revolutionized the classifieds have helped contribute to the newspapers demise.

However I can’t help but wonder if we are to blame as well? Our generation, the generation of mobile phones wireless internet and Ipods. Have we changed communication that much that we have helped ruin an entire industry?

On ABC’s world news with Charlie Gibson there was a recent report on the declining health of newspapers. Click here to view the video. Newspapers have been the eyes and ears for small and large cities. When they can’t function on the level that they need to cities are the ones that are missing out. When papers start to loose there print editions how will that effect their content? Content in most newspapers has already been drastically reduced. When a paper looses its paper what then does it become?  A glorified blog?

How will the change of newspapers as we know them affect the Public Relations field? Will reporters have the time to even report on pitches by a PR professional?

We are left wondering what the future will hold for newspapers and what the trickle down affect will be. Instead of saving newspaper clippings are we going to be printing off blog posts?

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