Monday, January 9, 2012

Too many blogs for the Washingon Post

Last Sunday, the ombusman of the Washington Post complained about the numerous blogs and web services that have grown at a frightening speed around the website of the Washington Post. I quite agree. One of the big challenges of 2012 and the following years is the managements of newspapers press rooms. It is obvious that print and web journalists cannot be everywhere and work 24hrs a day. It is also a fact that the population of Internauts has increased enormously and finds it very easy to send messages and blogs to the social networks. How can we use intelligently this flow of news, some of them very valuable, most of them useless or redondant.

I believe that part of the solution is the building up of communities made of reliable followers, who are willing to contribute, provide their opinions and answer questions from the newsroom. The French regional newspapers have created, many years ago that kind of community for their print editions. These people are called "press correspondants" and deliver pieces of news about their own environment without beeing considered as journalists. This good system should be adapted to the rythm and technics of Internet.

Still,most of the news are delivered by print editions. Which means that the crisis of Presstalis, is a dramatic threat for national dailies who rely on this clumsy organization to reach their readers. Presstalis is deeply in the red and several publications are fleeing to its main competitor MLP. It has been obvious for many years that the French delivery system is obsolete and has to be replaced by efficient and cheaper specialists of logistics including the networks of the regional newspapers. How long shall we have to wait for a very necessary reform?