Sunday, December 25, 2016

Did the Post make a “Colossal Mistake” when they shut down their printing presses?

Do you know where The Palm Beach Post newspaper is printed? Hint: It’s not in Palm Beach County; the answer is below. Senior media writer Jack Shafer wrote this must-read article in Politico Magazine titled, “What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake?” Here are two excerpts:

What if the industry should have stuck with its strengths—the print editions where the vast majority of their readers still reside and where the overwhelming majority of advertising and subscription revenue come from—instead of chasing the online chimera?* [emphasis added]

[and. . .]

     As she [Iris Chyi of the University of Texas] explains, the circulation of the supposedly dying print product may be in decline, but it still reaches many more readers than the supposedly promising digital product in home markets, and this trend holds across all age groups. For all the expense of building, programming and hosting them, online editions haven't added much in the way of revenue, either.
     For years, the standard view in the newspaper industry has been that print newspapers will eventually evolve into online editions and reconvene the mass audience newspapers enjoy there. But that’s not what’s happening. Readers continue to leave print newspapers, but they’re not migrating to the online editions.

If you get the digital Post you can understand why serious newspaper readers would be unhappy. Below are just two examples from previous posts on this blog of ‘news’ in The Palm Beach Post, which is really just trolling social media for data that was aggregated, reworded and this is the result:

For those looking to travel and find love, West Palm Beach may not be the place to go. The Palm Beach County city was named the fifth least sexy city in the United States, according to a survey by travel dating site MissTravel.com that was published by college news site Coed.

This “news” by the Post is complete nonsense—note the sources. This ‘data’ is called aggregation which can be summed up this way: Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO). The City of Lake Worth was subjected to this silliness last year (remember Neighborhood Scout?). Here is another excerpt from the ‘news’:

[I]t [West Palm Beach] was not seen favorably on lists ranking best performing metro areas and places to raise a family, which listed it near the bottom. Read more at Coed.

Coed? This sort of content never reaches the print edition. It’s used as clickbait to get readers to visit the online edition. So, do you know who the Post uses to print their newspapers? The Sun Sentinel in Broward County does and sends those papers north in big trucks.

UPDATE. Read about Post reporter John Kennedy and Palm Beach Daily News (aka, the Shiny Sheet) reporter David Rogers being let go, use this link. And datelined December 9th, herenews from Adam Smith, the Political Editor at the Tampa Bay Times (newspaper the winner of 12 Pulitzer Prizes), an excerpt:

Lousy news, via the talented John Kennedy of the Palm Beach Post, which for as long as I can remember has been one of the leading sources for state government news in Florida.
     “Dear Friends: The Palm Beach Post has decided to close the Tallahassee bureau. The paper’s future is local and digital, and coverage of the goings-on in the state Capitol don’t meld as well with this direction...,”

*Synonyms for the word Chimera: dream, fantasy, delusion.

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