8 Valuable Lessons You can Learn From the Demise of Newspapers

    valuable lessons - burning newspaper

    It’s not news that the news industry is changing rapidly, and the traditional newspaper and magazine industry is in a whole mess of trouble.

    Newspapers are losing readers at an alarming rate to online reading — and readers are reading not only newspapers, but blogs and many other types of sites.

    Newspapers are trying to find a model for making money online, but they’re not learning fast enough, not adapting fast enough. Online ads can’t support them, because now the monopoly for publishing news and commentary has been broken, and advertising has been spread out among thousands and thousands of sites.

    How can the newspaper industry adapt? Well, they’ll either have to figure that out quickly, or they’ll die.

    As a former journalist and editor at a Gannett-owned newspaper, I have some thoughts — things I’ve learned from my career as a blogger at Zen Habits.

    1. Smaller is better. Newspapers can’t survive on online ads not because it’s an impossible model for publishing — I do it at Zen Habits and many other blogs and smaller news sites do it. They can’t survive on online ads because they’re too huge. Not only do they have a newsroom of journalists and editors, but they have copy editors, layout editors, graphic artists, photographers, managing editors and more. And that’s just the newsroom — one small part of a newspaper company. There’s also advertising, production (the presses and so on), circulation (the delivery of newspapers), accounting, the IT department, human resources, and overall management (the publisher, president, vice president, staff, etc.).

    There is no way an organization that huge can survive on online ads, especially now that the news monopoly has been broken. The solution isn’t to charge more, but to become smaller. If a newspaper transitions to an only online edition, it can get rid of its printing presses and printing sections. Smaller can mean they get rid of large parts of accounting and HR and management and so on. Basically, everyone should be involved in actually producing content, with perhaps a small amount of ad sales staff. Smaller is better — with a small news team, you can produce great content and live on much less. More on this below.

    2. If you charge, people won’t come. Readers are used to reading things for free. Sure, they’ll pay a couple dollars for an entire issue of a newspaper, but who reads the entire newspaper online every day? Now we just read a couple articles that are interesting, and move on to other sites. If the other sites are free, why should we keep coming back if you start to charge us? Not only that, but the biggest sources of traffic and growth come not from regular readers but from links from other blogs and news sites, social media, email, and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook … and if you erect a pay wall, no one will be able to link to you! You’ll die a slow but inevitable death.

    3. If you charge, others will offer it for free. The Wall Street Journal and a couple of other business news sites are getting away with charging because the business crowd doesn’t mind paying for access to up-to-the-minute business information. It’s just a regular expense, a part of doing business. However … that won’t work forever. Eventually other sites will come up that offer information that’s just as good, but free. These sites will be smaller, and at first won’t have as much credibility. But as people migrate to them — because they’re free, and the information is the same — they’ll start to build up some credibility, and then WSJ will be in real trouble. The same will be true for others who charge for access to information — people will eventually get it somewhere else, because that’s an opportunity for someone to create a business based on giving the information away for free. They’ll be ad supported, sure, but if they’re smaller they’ll be able to live on that.

    4. You’ve got competition now. This is just an extension of No. 3 above, but expanded: in the old days, you only competed against other major news media. That’s no longer the case. Now, lots of people are publishing news — including everyday people who post news to Twitter, right when news is happening, as eye-witnesses. Now lots of people write commentary (granted: sometimes too many). Now there’s competition everywhere for people’s interest and attention. So you’re going to need to step it up — you can’t do things the old way. Figure out what your competitive advantages are (more on this below), and use them to your advantage. We still need you to be a government watchdog, we still need your in-depth reporting, but perhaps some of the things you’re doing that have been replaced by new competitors (such as Craigslist or weather services and the like) can be dropped.

    5. Your main asset is credibility, not money or size. The difference between you and a blog isn’t the writing, or how fast you get the news, or how big you are, or even how deep your pockets are … but how much people trust you. This trust is huge, actually, because it means when others might break the news before you, people will still want you to confirm that it’s true. Whatever you do, don’t lose that trust. Use it to your advantage. Blogs are building that trust as we speak, and if you break the trust in any way, you’ll lose everything.

    6. You’ve got the skills — but you need to adapt. One of my advantages when I started blogging was that I was a journalist by training, which isn’t required for blogging by any means — most of the best bloggers were never journalists and many journalists aren’t good bloggers. But I had some skills that translate well in the online world — writing fairly clear and concise articles, for example, and using bullet points and other devices to make it easier for readers to find the essential information, and headline writing, and research. You’ve got those skills and more — but they don’t translate exactly to blogging. You need to learn blogging, and the online world, and really participate in it and understand it, so that your skills can be adapted to the new demands of readers. Part of that is that you need to connect with them (see next item), and you also need to learn community and new forms of writing that are foreign to journalism. You’ll also need to forget division of labor — everyone needs to produce content, and everyone needs to be able to handle tech and business.

    7. Connect with readers and bloggers, don’t snub them. Blogs have succeeded in part because we are a community, and a large discussion. Readers can connect with bloggers in ways they never connected with journalists — the best journalists have always been (and mostly still are) in ivory towers, looking down on the reading public and barely accessible but through letters to the editor (and more recently, email). But readers can instantly communicate with bloggers, and the best bloggers talk back, are part of the discussion. And bloggers connect with each other — we have giant conversations through our blogs and Twitter, link to each other, not just to our own articles. You need to become social, in the new sense of the word — not just in going to community functions and press conferences.

    8. Become lean and distributed. Having a huge building full of employees and equipment is unsupportable these days. The best bloggers work from home, or from coffee shops. We have no huge building, because we couldn’t afford it. Let your reporters work from home or from the road, with a laptop, and you remove the need for an office. Learn to collaborate online, to do business online. Let readers become news gatherers, and give them a voice and a channel for putting out the news. Let the community be your sources, in a new and exciting way, and you’ll need fewer employees.

    What does all this mean for the employees of newspapers? It means you’ll need to learn new ways of working, and that some of your will be laid off, inevitably — either because the newspaper purposely leans down, or because it will go out of business. For the sake of our society, I hope the best newspapers don’t go out of business, that they learn to be leaner. But many employees will be out of work — and that’s OK. You’ll start your own blogs and websites and go into competition with your former employer, as I have. And you’ll love every minute of it.


    Image courtesy of Pixabay

    About the author

      Leo Babauta

      Leo Babauta is the blogger behind the superblog, Zen Habits, which is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of life.

    • I love to read from blogger more than newspaper. Just like the way I read your blog.

    • This content was much. Thank you for your content. And think it has plenty of good content, good on this website. Thank you very much.

    • sosbuys says:

      Someone started the rumor that the Blogosphere is journalism’s parasite.
      We shouldn’t be surprised if a spreadsheet started that.

    • sonika says:

      Blogging has become really competitive…
      A writer/blogger may try http://glocalwriters.com
      They offer a get paid to write opportunity with an upfront payment option.

    • Once again great post Leo You really give us bloggers encouragement by pointing out some great lessons we need to embrace, to position ourselves as the future of media and news.

    • I think a lot of what you are referring to about newspapers is happening on TV news websites, as well. My background is in TV news reporting, and it is interesting to see where it all will land. I’m so glad to find a place to discuss the changes happening in journalism in this day and age.

    • I’m still sad that news is turning more into entertainment, which will likely cause my loss of interest completely.

    • Ken Rivard says:

      It seems to me that you’re missing the boat on this one. First of all, most of the web news I’ve seen, unless it has the backing of a broadcast or print institution, is pretty thin gruel. I currently read two newspapers (Boston Globe, NYTimes), as well as check out a couple of websites, but I don’t see any independent web news that underwrites serious investigative journalism, especially the kind that is local AND requires substantive resources–time, money and expertise. Investigative journalism is a substantive pillar of healthy civic engagement. I’m not an accountant, weapons expert, foreign policy analyst, scientist, etc. but I rely on serious depth reportage to inform me in all of these areas. And the local ingredient is critical.

      People in California won’t care if the Boston Globe goes under, but Massachusetts citizens will lose a serious resource in the absence of the Globe Spotlight Team in its investigations. A couple of years ago San Diego reporters spent TWO YEARS investigating and meticulously documenting graft in weapons appropriations for their longtime congressman. I believe they rec’d a Pulitzer for it. Nevertheless their paper is no more (for more on this reference NPR’s interview with Alex S. Jone’s here: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/presspol/news_events/recent_links.html#losing). Nothing that I’ve seen for free online can come close to filling that gap.

      The kind of lifestyle and advocacy writing that comprises most blogs can’t replace serious investigative journalism. I, for one, am willing to pay for serious online content. I already subscribe to physical papers–I would pay the same amount for online content, especially if it’s demonstrably equivalent to current print press standards.

      You’re probably correct about the current economic model not serving the current newspaper with its mix of local, human interest, lifestyle, etc. plus serious reportage. But we definitely need depth reporting and asking for it for free is not the answer.

      Finally, if you have independent web news links that you think are really good, I’d appreciate seeing a list of links. Thanks.

    • I agree with Gilbert Ross. Media brand could work as news hub. We need a top-down/bottom up mix.
      Especially, I believe in the filter role of traditional media for the best user generated contents. The value of newspaper, on that regard, does not lie in the newsroom. It is the editing staff that turn nice info or thoughts from the audience into well written awesome content.

    • You make some really interesting points, I am particularly interested by the idea of social media playing a large part in linking back to interesting news stories. I have to agree that it does appear from my research as well, that those articles/releases that are linked by Twitter users generally get the higher views and so I would have to agree that pay/security walls could work to the detriment of online newspapers.

    • Hilary says:

      Hi .. I think that was a really interesting article, especially coming from someone who was in the industry and appreciates its workings.

      Thanks – Hilary Melton-Butcher
      Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

    • Jimi Jones says:

      This is a great post, thanks for sharing!

      As always happens throughout history, it becomes a classic case of old school vs new wave.

      The old establishment news organizations are resistant to change initially, and by the time they figure out that they MUST change, they’re behind the curve playing catch-up.

      Pro blogging is here to stay, and those who position themselves today for what lies ahead tomorrow, will be better off for their foresight.

    • Leo says:

      @Darla: As I wrote in comments above, Zen Habits isn’t the kind of blog I’m talking about — I mostly do the kind of stuff you’d find in lifestyle or opinion pages.

      However, there are plenty of news blogs, including ones that do real reporting. Some of them regularly beat out the mainstream media during the presidential campaign, for example.

      And while there aren’t many of these, their numbers are growing and they’ll become more popular if newspapers try to charge for info. And if newspapers don’t charge, they’ll still be competing against these smaller, leaner news blogs, and it’s inevitable that newspapers will either need to learn the lessons I presented above, or they’ll die.

    • It is true that the media revolution and democratization is an unstoppable trend and is ever expanding. We saw a massive paradigm shift in mass media publication from one-to-many, as in the major media networks, to many-to-many as in blogging or micro-blogging.

      Especially after the so-called web 2.0 explosion together with higher connectivity and ubiquitous devices in the hands of the masses, the news media became a bottom-up and decentralized process instead of the traditional top-down process from central network to the masses.

      The turmoil in Tehran or the earthquake in Aquila, Italy have seen an instant minute by minute follow up through twitter and all. Crowd sourcing at its best. Moreover the real democratization process is seen when the system becomes also self-regulatory and self-organizing. This is also a phenomena which also happens in other areas.

      However I still believe that the real success comes in the convergence of both bottom-up & top-down approaches (that is, of 5 & 8 above). This should be the role of today’s news networks and I believe this is what the article is pointing at. They should streamline and decentralize (bottom-up) but at the same time serve as ‘authority hubs’ where they confer both credibility and expertise (top-down).

    • Someone started the rumor that the Blogosphere is journalism’s parasite.
      We shouldn’t be surprised if a spreadsheet started that.

    • Darla says:

      You missed a critical point here. Bloggers are not journalists. Some may be, but most aren’t. Bloggers write mostly op-ed pieces and rarely do any real (investigative, research, unbiased) journalism. The stuff you write on Zen Habits, while useful and interesting, is not journalism. It’s mostly of a self-help nature and is written out of your personal opinion and experiences.

      In a free society, we need journalists that get out and get the story. While I agree that newspapers have much to learn and they must adapt to changing times, let’s keep in mind that a free media must continue to serve as a checks and balances for our society.

      What changed the entire newspaper landscape was the invention of Craig’s List. Classifieds had always been the newspapers primary source of income. It allowed the papers to have a revenue source that was not solely dependent upon large corporations as its advertisers.

      Newspapers (whether online or in print) need to be independent and unbiased either way. Finding a way to do that is costly, but it is the challenge.

    • You make a great point when you say that a newspaper’s main asset is credibility. Maybe and option for newspapers to survive is to build a large network of great bloggers and let them blog under the newspaper’s umbrella, thus generating many more pages of content, more pageviews and more ad revenue. They could either pay the bloggers or share the ad revenue with them. But, as you say, they also have to get smaller and carry less overhead (if they operate solely online this shouldn’t be too difficult).

    • If you have the credibility and the information people want, it isn’t to difficult to find people willing to pay for the information. The key is finding out what people really are interested in and willing to pay for. One thing in the Newspapers favor right now is the tech lag. They still have time to adjust and adapt.

    • Leo,

      I agree with points #2 and #3, from personal experience.

      There are very few information sources on the net I’d be willing to pay for. A few times I’ve visited news websites to check out articles, and been deterred by a membership fee block after the first 2 paragraphs.

      Usually I’m slightly annoyed that I can’t read the rest of the article, but I just leave the site. There’s no way I’m going to be bothered looking for my wallet, digging out my credit card and filling out forms just to read a news article.

      They have to be selling something totally needful for me to even consider spending money. Blogs tend to have more tempting items like ebooks or online workshops.


    • Ally says:

      9. Get rid of the obvious liberal and/or conservative bias and go back to being neutral/centrist investigative reporters for the people, not for the government, special interest groups, or some other political party or socialist agenda. Quit “reporting” on celebrities and other non-stories, give up your love affair with yellow journalism and spreading fear and lies, and get back to your Edward R. Murrow roots. Be classy, interesting, intelligent, and authoritative again. What’s old is new again.

    • Great article Leo, thanks for this interesting insight.

    • ChrisB says:

      I think they need to reconsider what they offer. Give up the quick short stories to tv, radio, and the web and focus on depth and investigative journalism. They may even have to turn the print edition into a weekly. But they are going to have to offer what the web can’t offer for free.

      Or, stop giving it away. If the AP, etc, cut off Yahoo and the other news agregators, that would change the game.

    • Good post and good comments.

      I’ve seen the newspaper industry’s decline in microcosm here in my home town in rural western MA. I’d say your list is dead on, in some respects, and totally off in others.

      For one, blogs aren’t killing newspapers. If anything, Craigslist is more to blame than blogs. Most people here don’t even know what a blog is, and even lack an online connection.

      No, I think, newspapers are killing newspapers. But you’re correct that blogs present a model for newspapers to succeed. The thing is, it isn’t a new model at all. Newspapers invented the idea of building community and conversation around content.

      That ended when newspapers started favoring low-cost content from the wire service over paying local reporters. Does a full-page fluff piece on summer strawberry recipes really carry as much value as the Smith’s house fire on Saturday, or the undefeated high school football team, or even Mr. and Mrs. Rosebaum’s 50th wedding anniversary?

      The local reporter used to be a recognizable fixture in the community, who went beyond the obligatory coverage of town meetings etc. to regularly hang out a the local diner, or take notes on a new lead handed him in the local supermarket aisle. Like bloggers, they didn’t get paid much, but they were invested in a community and cared about it.

      Local journalism used to be about names, names, names, and people gladly paid to read about neighbors they recognized. Today, our local paper charges you $250 to run an obituary.

      So, yeah, newspapers need to adopt a smaller, locally based business model intimately connected with their communities. But I’d say their local news staffs could stand to be bigger, not smaller.

      You’re also dead on about the lean and distributed model. The best coverage comes from reporters who live in the town they cover, and who can work from there.

    • Lori Hoeck says:

      I learned journalism from old school professors who are now rolling in their graves for what passes as news these days. Whoever re-discovers truly well-researched and objective reporting will win out, because trust and transparency are the new currency.

    • Joe says:

      I think this is a great list, Leo, but it will fall on deaf ears. The newspaper giants -need- the status quo to survive; they are too large to adapt due to the exact things you reference. Consider all the people who work at the New York Times office. If the New York Times went online only, how many jobs would be lost? 80%? 90%? Just like any major corporation, the office is full of bloat, people pushing papers around who just collect a paycheck. And then you have the unions to deal with; you think the production and distribution people are going to go quietly? Not when it’s their livelihood on the line.

      @Ellen: Plenty of bloggers do real interviews with real people; I never really did interviews before I started my blog and now I love doing it. It’s only a matter of time before factions of the “real” investigative journalists break off and start doing their own thing. Would you label someone an investigative journalist just because of their degree or their pedigree? If a credible investigative journalist ditched his or her newspaper job and became a blogger, would they lose credibility in your eyes? You realize, too, that an organization like the Huffington Post is online only and yet gets reporters at White House press conferences. Maybe that’s only because they were able to draw “real” reporters to their ranks, but I think it signals a trend. And, as mentioned, plenty of newspapers just lazily post AP wire stories so they can say they at least have something in their pages about a certain story.

    • TMNinja says:

      I agree that they cannot charge for online content. The news outlets who are erecting pay-walls around their sites are losing people fast.

      However, I still question the true value on online ads on news sites. People go there for news, not to be bombarded by the latest product ad. Many readers will instantly close a news site that has a pop-up in-your-face ad… and move on to the next site.

      Online advertising will key for targeted and niche sites. If I am looking at my favorite interest/hobby, then yes, I might be interested in related ads.

      Not at a news site. And putting commercials in front of video? I can’t click fast enough to close the window…

    • Leo, you mentioned credibility as being an important factor for the success of a blog. One of the reasons that the papers have suffered is that they have not done as good a job of fact verification as some of the blogs. Large organizations used to be able to lay claim to credibility because they had resources to verify a journalist’s sources, but many times it has been the blogs that have pointed errors in fact to the papers. This has hurt newspapers reputations to a good degree.

    • Leo Babauta says:

      @Mark: I hope investigative journalism doesn’t die completely, although I agree it’s going to be more limited in the future.

      I completely agree with you … the Internet will help the public play the role of watchdog, especially as the public demands more transparency and organizations and sites such as the Sunlight Foundation put more information online for diligent people to sift through, and as concepts such as radical transparency and open-source government become more commonplace.

    • Leo Babauta says:

      @Ellen: There’s definitely both types of reporting going on. Most is probably consolidating or commenting on news broken from other sites, while a small number are doing actual reporting … but that number is growing, I think. We’re far from having blogs replace newspapers for actual news, but it will definitely happen if newspapers start charging for all or most of their content.

      Also … traditional news media also take most of their news from other sources … the AP and other news wires, for example. So this isn’t to be frowned upon. Still, your point is taken.

      I don’t do news at all, and I wasn’t trying to imply that bloggers like me are replacing the news sections of newspapers. Like I said, I’m probably more in line with their lifestyle sections. But there are real news blogs that break real news — TPM and others regularly broke campaign news during the presidential campaign, for example.

    • Mark Milan says:

      I think you’re right on the money that newspapers will have to become smaller. I’d say it isn’t just a lesson they must learn, but also an inescapable fact they’ll have to face. The newspapers and their shareholders will have to accept that their profit source is drying up, and the alternative profit sources aren’t as lucrative.

      While some think that the death of newspapers means the death of investigative journalism, I don’t think it’s a problem. I’m inclined to think that the Internet and new technology will turn average citizens into journalists.

      Generally, I think the quality of the reporting of your average newspaper is overrated. And anyway, there may be a market for specialised commentators and roaming reporters on the Internet in the future anyway. I think the best reporters are those that do it because it’s what they love, rather than because they’re making loads of money.

    • Ellen Ska says:

      Leo, do you think they’re doing substantial on-the-ground reporting, vs. just trolling other sites? My fear is that the new “reporting” is merely consolidating from other sources, all done from home offices, nobody doing face to face, confidential interviews. If this fear is accurate, the whole edifice collapses once traditional news dies. And thus goes democracy and an informed citizenry.

      Bloggers have an investment in believing that somebody out there is doing primary level investigations. What if this is just flattering themselves? What news have you or I actually “turned up” in the last 30 days, independent of the blogosphere?

    • Leo Babauta says:

      @Valerie: I think you might be misunderstanding — I’m not saying blogs such as mine will replace the news reporting of traditional newspapers — although my blog might replace some of the stuff you’d normally read in the lifestyle or similar sections. And tech blogs might replace the tech sections, and business blogs the business sections, and so on.

      But there are actual news sites out there, non-traditional news organizations, that are doing actual reporting. Lots of them, actually, and some of them are pretty good. The difference is that they aren’t supported by huge organizations — they’re small, flat organizations where everyone does reporting and produces content.

      This model is more supportable, and I believe it’ll win out.

    • Valerie Andrews says:

      Blogging will never replace good, old fashioned reporting. And there is little good reporting being done by the so-called “citizen journalists” who tweet, facebook and blog about every thing they see, think or hear. There’s more to being a journalist than regurgitation of fact (and in many cases, there’s debate over whether some of these eyewitnesses are writing about the facts anyway). You make the case that people want things for free, but what you overlooked is that people don’t want to read. They don’t want to spend the time (or exert the mental energy) to read the kinds of traditional, in-depth stories that are the meat of newspapers and magazines. The world just wants a McPaper that gives them bulleted info points, the print version of sound bites. Those of us who actually read and still enjoy our newspapers (ink stains and all) are not going to become devoted to the superficial “reporting” that seems to be the journalism of the future. We will continue to buy our newspapers, and if they go the way of the dinosaur, we will be willing to pay for our news online, from credible, trusted news sources.

    • Leo Babauta says:

      @Eric: The Kindle (or its successors) could definitely help newspapers distribute, and gain some income from subscriptions.

      However, I really don’t think this is the best revenue model, because as I said, if they charge for access to their information, someone else will come along to give it away for free. Some people will pay to get it on the Kindle, but not nearly enough to support their huge companies. Changes that I described will still need to be made.

    • I think a gadget like Kindle can save newspaper industry. But again, here newspaper players have to bargain with Amazon on how to share revenues.

    • I used to be a freelance journalist too before I became a full-time blogger.

      Yes, I agree that newspapers should serious review their business models.

      It’s clear that majority of their earnings are from advertising. There’ll come a day when newspapers realize that giving away information for free rather than charging readers will result in increased earnings (counter-intuitive but true) due to the increased readership.

      In Singapore where I come from, already there’re free papers that differentiate by providing great summaries to major news. These papers are extremely popular and they serve the busy executives well (free and time-saving). And yes, they survive totally on advertising.

      When you’ve got higher circulation, you’ve got bargaining power and advertisers are willing to pay more to reach out to the audience you’re attracting. Bloggers know that intuitively… The paper I just mentioned know that as well… I guess the major newspapers know that too… the only difference is… they are resistant to change (to stop charging for content) because it affects their short-term profits.

      Time to think long-term… or die like the dinosaurs.

    • Leo Babauta says:

      @Ellen: That might be true now, but I don’t think it’ll always be true.

      1. The traditional news media beats the *majority* of blogs, but there are tons of blogs, and that’s always going to be true. But as the study points out, there are a few top blogs that actually break some stories before the media … and as blogs get better, this trend will undoubtedly grow.

      2. Bloggers who want fast access to news are a tiny group compared to the traditional media’s usual subscriber base. They won’t support a huge organization.

      3. Eventually, if news media charges for news, others will spring up who find the news just as fast, but offer it for free. This is inevitable — mark my words. 🙂

    • Ellen Ska says:

      Re: # 2. “If you charge, people won’t come.”

      Maybe the mass of readers wouldn’t pay, but bloggers who want to be first to break news on the get-it-for-free market quite possibly would.

      This Cornell study http://bit.ly/aXqMX showed that traditional news sources were two and a half hours ahead of bloggers in breaking news. I’m guessing that this is news blogging’s dirty little secret: relentlessly scouring the traditional news sources that directly pay investigative reporters.

      So subscriptions from competitive bloggers alone could nicely subsidize traditional reporting. They can buy the news and then give it away. Win/win.

    • I think #5 is huge, and was demonstrated well after the death of Michael Jackson, which was originally reported on a bunch of blogs, but people didn’t really start believing it until a major news source (LA Times) reported it. Mashable had an interesting story on this and how tribute tweets coincided with the LA Times report.

    • I think part of the problem is that newspapers (like most large companies) are naturally resistant to change. It may be a good business decision to cut back in certain areas and move to new ones (cutting print and going online, for example), but it’s not likely to be a very popular decision – especially because it will probably lead to a lot of less-web-savvy veterans losing their jobs.

      About point number 5 – while I agree that credibility is one of the greatest assets any news organization can have, community is becoming increasingly important – something that bloggers know very well.

      Unfortunately, while many news sites have embraced the idea of letting readers leave comments, but very few news sites actually engage their readers. Instead, all you get is a bunch of one-way conversations. Is it any wonder that people don’t stay long? I don’t know if journalists are afraid of losing their professional image or of getting in trouble with their employers, but they will continue to lose ground until they start to actually engage their audiences – as bloggers do.

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