Newspapers are experiencing a sharp decline in circulation (hat tip to Brett’s blog for this). Now, we know that with a decline in circulation comes lost advertising dollars and in some cases lost jobs. But, why are our newspapers declining so much?
I think it’s safe to say that they haven’t adapted to how people expect to get information. The internet has brought about certain expectations and our daily newspapers are ingoring this. They should be using the actual physical paper has a tool to get people to go to their site to read more. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.
A few days ago I posted a link to this story on military families struggling to get into state pre schools. Now, if you read my blog post you can easily click to the website to find more information. You, as a reader, expect to see this link. Now, take a look at the San Diego Union Tribune story on the same topic. The story, itself it is good, hits all the main points and gives some great quotes. The problem is that there are no outbound links in the story at all.
No links to the appropriations committe, no links to any members of congress. Nothing. They even list the website helpingmilitaryfamilies.com but it’s not a link. Why? Give us a chance to find out more on this story. How hard is it to format some links into a story. Sure, you can’t click on the actual paper but getting people to go to your website for more info would be great for your readership.
I took a look at some other stories from the Tribune and I didn’t see any with outbound links. Hey, if you write a story on Ladanian Tomlinson why not link to a page with his stats? That’s how ESPN, foxsports, and cnnsi do their stories.
Tribune and the other newspapers around the country you better wake up.