Thursday, 4 September 2008

Print + Net

For a number of years, all four Toronto daily newspapers clearly did not grasp the true wonder of the Internet - a golden opportunity to regain the crown as news breakers.

They waited until after their print editions hit the streets to update news on their web sites, news that radio and television had been airing for hours.

Several years ago, we checked the Sun site hourly for news about a policeman who had been shot and wounded, but not a word was posted until after the printed edition was on the streets the next morning.

With that frame of mind, radio and television would remain favourite sources for breaking news for decades to come, but the dailies have gradually introduced breaking news.

If the Sun ads mean what they say, when's new web site launches on Monday readers will finally have access to full multi-media news as it happens.

Give away the breaking news as it happens, not at 4 a.m. the next day, and you will still have an audience for the print edition, with exclusives surrounding the news, plus news, sports, finance and lifestyle columns, the editorial and op-ed pages, crossword puzzles, classifieds etc.

Give print readers what they won't find on the Net, radio and TV.

An online story from Australia's says it all about online newspapers gaining ground on radio and television as news breakers, while print editions hold their own.

The recommended read by Matthew Ricketson says:

"The Herald Sun, for example, has long been the biggest-selling metropolitan daily newspaper in Australia.

"In the most recent Audit Bureau of Circulations results announced last month, 530,000 copies of the newspaper were sold every day.

"There were also on average 1,875,016 people looking at every month.

"Some people read the newspaper and browse online but it appears most read one or the other.

"In other words, the readership for the major newspapers has expanded."

We will know Monday if is serious about providing news as it happens.

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