A redesign for you

Three updates and a design note for readers

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Gadzukes, a lot is happening out there. Here, too.

The SaveMyDaily site has been reorganized. With the post count approaching 50, it was time to make the blog easier to read. Please check out the “Pick a Topic” list in the site margin. If your time or interest is limited, click on a subject to see just the pertinent posts. Your humble host hopes the feature will help focus our efforts toward a successful end.

As for doings elsewhere, here are updates to posts previously published.

Fish or Foul? (Newspaper publishers care about what they print — and pay a price for it.): In a Dec. 15, 2017, post on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that the company’s network is more than an elaborate maze of digital plumbing:

“Facebook is a new kind of platform different from anything before it. I think of Facebook as a technology company, but I recognize we have a greater responsibility than just building technology that information flows through. While we don’t write the news stories you read and share, we also recognize we’re more than just a distributor of news. We’re a new kind of platform for public discourse — and that means we have a new kind of responsibility to enable people to have the most meaningful conversations, and to build a space where people can be informed.

“With any changes we make, we must fight to give all people a voice and resist the path of becoming arbiters of truth ourselves. I believe we can build a more informed community and uphold these principles.”Mark Zuckerberg

For more on the steps Facebook is taking to do that, take a look at the company’s “News Feed FYI: Addressing Hoaxes and Fake News.”

Making it clear (Better online news design might regain reader trust.): In “So, is it news, opinion or advertising?,” Michelle Morgante, managing editor of The Merced Sun-Star, points out that readers often don’t know the difference between the three. If online news sites do label every piece with a descriptive design element (NEWS, OPINION, etc.), it might be wise to include a link that explains the difference between them — or a link to Morgante’s column.

Discriminating distribution (Should the distribution method dictate the news content?): The Nieman Lab reports that The New Haven Independent, a nonprofit online-only news outlet, has tailored its cop shop policy in recognition of the reach and persistence of internet news. Paul Bass, the paper’s editor and founder is quoted as saying, “With the advent of the Internet, what’s online becomes people’s main or only source of news. People’s reputations are at stake, and often the arrest itself and not the outcome is what is known about them.” (“No mugshot exploitation here: The New Haven Independent aims to respect the reputations of those arrested in the community it covers” —Neiman Lab)

Discriminating distribution

Should the distribution method dictate news content?

Print publication and digital publication differ in their reach and persistence.

A printed newspaper reaches those who live within range of the paper’s carriers. An online newspaper can reach anyone who has access to the internet, worldwide.

Printed newspapers usually remain in public view for a week or two, stacked on one’s coffee table at home or in the rack at the local restaurant. Online newspapers are available for an indefinite period, their articles cached on servers beyond the reach of the publisher.

Therefore, compared to print distribution, online distribution magnifies the effect a given news article has on everyone and everything mentioned in the story.

Should that be considered? Instead of pushing everything in the print edition to the online edition, should newspapers discriminate between distribution options, using content as the guiding factor?

For example, should police log lists of arrests and charges only be printed, not published online?  After all, those who are arrested and/or charged are innocent until proven guilty. Should their names be forever associated with charges that may be later dismissed?

One might use ethical or moral arguments for discriminating between distribution methods, but there are practical considerations to be weighed as well.  While pushing everything to the web might be the easiest technical process to follow, reserving certain content for print might earn the paper goodwill, reduce the number of requests it receives to take content down off the web, and add cross-platform marketing opportunities. If the police log were only published in the Sunday print edition, for example, a house ad in the online edition about the log might drive online readers to buy a Sunday print copy.

It’s an idea.  What do you think?

UPDATE (02/17/2017)

The Nieman Lab reports that The New Haven Independent, a nonprofit online-only news outlet, has tailored its cop shop policy in recognition of the reach and persistence of internet news. Paul Bass, the paper’s editor and founder is quoted as saying, “With the advent of the Internet, what’s online becomes people’s main or only source of news. People’s reputations are at stake, and often the arrest itself and not the outcome is what is known about them.” (“No mugshot exploitation here: The New Haven Independent aims to respect the reputations of those arrested in the community it covers” —Neiman Lab)

The benefit of privacy

Your proclivities are not tracked by the print-only daily.

A traditional print-only newspaper and its advertisers don’t know which articles or ads a subscriber reads, or where or when that occurs. The reader’s privacy is maintained.

A print-only newspaper does collect subscriber names and addresses.

In addition, the paper presumes that, because they have chosen to spend their money on a subscription, subscribers have some wherewithal, are literate and are interested in the community (or, at least, in some regularly occurring element of the newspaper).

What about online delivery?
Click here for a fascinating update
on The Conversation.

Those characteristics are valuable enough to interest most local advertisers.

However, since a print-only daily and its advertisers don’t engage with subscribers as they are reading (because the paper has been manually delivered, not sent over the internet), what subscribers read and when and where they read it remains their secret.