- I liked this quote from a Merrill Lynch newspaper analyst:
"They are giving the reader something rich. People who might not go to the site for news will go to find out home prices. It is an opportunity to serve advertisers better by connecting with the local audience and a number of local advertisers."
- The article does allude to concerns within a few of the operations that each newsroom is being asked to do too much, but there isn't a lot of explanation.
- In Rochester, N.Y., the paper is learning that the online features can drive print circulation. Editors discovered this in September when they prepared a multimedia package on local sex offenders, which included a database of registered felons and various audio and video reports.
The Web package was prominently placed on the home page on Sept. 28 to promote much of the same material in a Sunday print presentation three days later. The effort resulted in the biggest Sunday single-copy sales of the year, with 4.9% more than any other Sunday. That record was broken two months later when the same approach was used for a report on police overtime.
- In Phoenix, the paper partnered with Arizona State University to pay 15 students $10 an hour to cover local news online during early-morning hours.
- In Parsipanny, N.J., where a Web editor works the overnight shift to keep feeding the Web and trying to grow the overnight audience, the editor says the approach has changed the mind-set of staffers.
"It is less of a print-driven approach," he says while chatting in his office, "being absolutely as local as we can be and getting readers involved as often as possible." The early jump on the Web is key, he adds, noting that the paper's monthly page views jumped from 3.3 million in March 2006 to 4.9 million in March 2007.