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83. Can Newspapers Afford Editors?

83. Can Newspapers Afford Editors?

I am pointing you to this article in Alan Mutter’s blog Newsosaur not because it makes a point that much different than the Slate article from the last segment, but because of the comments.

“The issue of how many editors it takes to put a story in the paper not only strikes a raw journalistic nerve but also exposes a major and growing economic disadvantage faced by newspapers, which is this: Newspapers have awesomely higher operating costs than the online publishers who are siphoning away their audience and advertising revenues.”

Strikes a nerve indeed, here are a few select reactions, I encourage you to visit the article and see what else the editing and online communities have to say about this shift.

Editors ‘are saving your ass from getting it sued off,’ says Nancy Nall in her blog. ‘Also, from becoming a laughingstock. Also, from having your bargain-basement, straight-out-of-college reporting staff embarrass you in print by misspelling the mayor’s name.’

‘The only way we can realistically continue to operate as newspaper journalists is to show how what we offer is better than what someone else offers,’ says David Sullivan in his blog. ‘That means operating behind a brand. That brand has to stand for something. Quality is a good thing to stand for.’

I love to hear copy editors and their supporters talk about quality and all the battles fought, some won, some lost,” says Doug Fisher in his blog. “Then, I walk away and mutter something like, ‘Those poor souls; they’ll never see it coming.’ And they haven’t, and now it is here.

It goes on like this for a while and it gets quite interesting if you read through it. As is often the case, the best way to really understand how something is affecting a population is to see how they react.

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