Monday, December 11, 2006

Dave's new Shawnee Portal is pretty cool

I just clicked through and looked at it. It is a dash board of Southern Illinois news and blogging. I think it shows great promise.

Personally, I think there is a business out there for local coverage via the internet. Selling local ads and doing a great job doing what no Lee Enterprise paper will do. Need to add obituaries and court reports to really make it go, but that isn't very hard.

Might work better in a different town, Lee hasn't had enough time to really destroy the Southern Illinoisan yet. If you look at other towns that have had Lee ownership for a long time, their paper's really suck. I suspect that is what Southern Illinois has to look forward to as the pull all the workers out of the paper and profits back to corporate.


Unknown said...


I wonder, how long does it take for Lee to destroy The Southern? They've owned the paper since the early 70's ...

The fact of the matter is that the learning curve isn't as sharp as some of us would like for it to be, but there are innovations being made. More and more newspaper companies, including Lee, are shifting their focus and becoming full-fledged "media companies, " dealing in MULTI-media platforms. You'll start to see this more and more. The new partnership between Lee and Yahoo is a prime example of this shift. The Lee (and other) papers will provide Yahoo with truly local content, while Yahoo will provide the papers with technologies they couldn't readily create on their own.

Make no mistake ... the future viability of the newspaper industry depends on embracing new technologies and new ways of disseminating news and information. No one I know in the industry has their head in the sand in this regard, and I know a lot of people in the industry.

Change is happening, but it is happening ... albeit slowly. Even in Carbondale.

PeterG said...

Kind of interesting, I just assumed that Lee has bought in before I came to town. They certainly act like a new owner, in the last few years they have cut the reporting staff more then in half. They purged all the people making real salaries and replaced them with new college grads. They are publishing a whole bunch of things that are advertising vehicles.

I'm not saying that the reporters they have now aren't talented, but let's face it experience counts. They had Caleb Hale covering the faculty unrest a few years ago, just out of college. I really like Caleb's work, but when you are 22 and pushed into being the only person covering a story like that, management is asking a lot. I'm kind of hoping the faculty contract gets messy again so we can see how Caleb covers it now in his old age. :)

I'm to lazy right now to look into this more, but I'll ask my Mother later. She remembers everything about this kind of stuff.

As I watch newspaper revenue flatten and the industry contract, I have to wonder if spending much less covering the news has anything to do with it. It is kind of like Capitalism that way, less value becomes less money. The movement to maximize profits in the short term often doesn't work very well in the long term.