Tuesday, March 17, 2009

sad day

Today the Seattle PI stops the presses and goes digital. A sad day for the paper product industry but I wonder how well the digital/information experiment will go.

Michael Wolff of newser.com does not think it will go well in his piece 'old-news-becomes-new.'

There are a number of things I agree with him about and other I do not.

Out of the gate, the current web site appears to be the result of the web having a print master or repacking the the print version. It is not easy to navigate, it makes you think and I just click off of it. The web programs or designers are not talking to the designers or graphic people.

Web sites for news organization are in the tech curve by going digital, print really hasn’t had any major upheavals until digital photography and that didn’t change too much ultimately. So the reality hits, the people who know anything about tech are on the second floor in IT and not on the newsroom floor, guess what has to change.

Finally Wolff disparages that reporters have given up reporting local news. There I will disagree with him. I think they need to leave their chairs and get out of the building, but I think many still know how to do their jobs, it just hasn’t been valued at their own paper product.

There is hope, we are just in a transition period that looks like it is going faster than anyone imagined.

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