Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fire the Wire, Save a Copy Editor

A writer for Editor & Publisher has an interesting proposal. He'd like to save the jobs of copy editors and others, and he's got a novel suggestion for how to do so. He thinks newspapers should get rid of their wire services!

Here's an excerpt from the article, by Mark A. Phillips, in which he explains why papers should do this:

Wire service copy has become a commodity that is sent around the globe via the Internet at blistering speed. Wire is accessible through Yahoo!, Google, or any number of Web sites. By the time your valued local newspaper reader gets a copy of your paper, the news could be a day old. Is this really serving your readers? Don't you want to give them something they truly cannot get anywhere else? ... Before you throw that rock at me, look at the monthly wire and photo costs in your budgets and compare those to what you spend on local news and sports employees. Does it shock you that those resources are going to services that many of your readers get for free on the Web? It should. Take the money you spend on wire and hire more news and sports reporters, more editors, more photographers. Instead of wire, wire, wire, I want you to hire, hire, hire. Bolster your local news and sports coverage and it will pay dividends.

The complete article can be found here.

What do you think of his idea?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Headless Body in Topless Bar: Writing Headlines for the Web

Thank you to Alicia, who has pointed out an interesting article about SEO.

SEO? Huh?

SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization." The article points out that when a newspaper's Web site simply picks up the headlines we've written in the print product, those words may not be the most easily searchable.

On Web sites, headlines need to be written differently, the article says, loaded with key words and phrases that can easily be found when Googled.

The full article is here. As Alicia says: "It’s a very interesting article and since we are likely to be doing more Web editing with the reorganization, it’s something we should be thinking about."