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Huckleberries Online

Jim Fisher: Papers Biting Off Nose to Spite Face

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Here’s one way in which I’m glad small newspapers like this one are not aping our bigger siblings in metropolitan areas: We’re not throwing bodies overboard in order to satisfy profit demands of investor owners. I just finished reading two more stories in a succession that has become familiar. Across the nation, large papers are finding themselves unable to meet income targets, and owners are responding by forcing them to shed employees. All too often, that results in papers that are less desirable to readers, who stop buying them, thereby forcing earnings even lower and … You get the idea. And it isn’t just newspaper employees who are noticing. In Los Angeles and St. Louis, community leaders have publicly protested the decline of what were once vital civic organs, Rob Gurwitt reports for Governing magazine — Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune.

DFO: Metro newspapers will die, unless they evolve to meet the changing habits of readers. I appreciate that I work for a newspaper that has seen the future and is rapidly transforming into a 24/7 information center to survive. We’re already considered one of the nation’s leaders in online journalism. Next year, we’ll kick things into high gear. My switch to focusing even more on this blog — and training others in the organization re: how to publish a community blog — is part of that switch. We will survive. But we’ll look different in the near future.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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