While most newspapers are trying to stake bigger claims online, one new publication is pulling material off the Internet to be printed in ink. John Wilpers, editor in chief of BostonNow, a free weekday daily introduced last month, said he wanted to fill the paper with items that local bloggers submitted to the BostonNow Web site. Last week, editors began culling posts and running excerpts next to articles from reporters and newswires. The blog items, which appear in gray boxes, are still relatively few, but Mr. Wilpers said he thought the feature would grow.
Mr. Wilpers, who previously edited two other free commuter newspapers, Metro Boston and The Washington Examiner, said he wanted to address what he believed was the news industry’s biggest problem: an inability to connect with the communities it covers.
“It doesn’t take a whole lot of smarts to look out at the Internet and see thousands writing on their communities, whether they be geographic or thematic,” Mr. Wilpers said. “They’re writing about Jamaica Plain or Dorchester or the Boston music scene or windsurfing on Massachusetts Bay.” BostonNow also hopes to help connect bloggers with fans. With a current circulation of about 85,000, BostonNow potentially offers a much larger readership than most local bloggers are used to. The greater exposure could translate into increased ad revenue for their own sites.
Read this article from the New York Times
It’s no surprise that “print” is looking for new revenue answers online, but gimmicky solutions aren’t the answer. The history of media evolution suggests those mediums that can’t adapt or integrate, die. (Least we assume the Internet is the end-all, be-all of communications media.) Although newspapers face this challenge, it’s not like publishers have to reinvent the wheel to get good content online. The bigger obstacle is getting everyone to understand you can still make money in a subscription-free environment.
Previously from What’s New Media…all things web meets newspaper.