WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Newspapers Still Experimenting with Websites

Nov 4, 2016

Print editions of newspapers are getting thinner and thinner as more and more content is moved to online editions.  But it seems as though newspapers haven't yet decided on the best way to use the web.

Shop Talk panelist Will Buss, who spent years as a newspaper reporter, thinks there is an audience for both print and online editions. He said the newspaper for which he worked tried many different things on the web and is still experimenting to determine what works and attracts audiences.

Buss said he believes newspapers should use their websites to track breaking news, while the print edition should be used to provide more comprehensive coverage.

Panelist Rich Egger said many news outlets initially used websites to promote their print or broadcast product, and stories were generally pretty brief. He said audiences are now more accustomed to reading in-depth pieces online and are willing to stick with a lengthy story, even on smaller devices such as smart phones.

Egger thinks that when all is said and done, it doesn’t matter how information is distributed. He said what does matter is the storytelling and journalism put into reports.

Panelist Jasmine Crighton does not blame the web for damaging the newspaper industry. She said the cutting of staff is the biggest factor hurting journalism. 

Crighton considers the web to be another avenue for media organizations to make money, and she wishes management would put some of that money back into the product by hiring more journalists.