Friday, January 09, 2009

How do you close the information divide separating print and digital products?

One of my core duties for the Capital Press is to function as our online editor. That's not my title, which is associate editor. Associate editor can mean anything, so telling people my title doesn't explain what I do. One of my assignments is to chair our staff Internet committee, which meets once a month.

The reason I bring all this stuff up, is that our next Internet committee met today. Since this was be our first meeting of 2009, the start of a new year had me wondering what's next. Or more precisely, I wonder what should be next for the Capital Press and our efforts online.

Like all media companies, we are trying to figure out how to best utilize all this technology at our disposal to the benefit of our readers. Of course we need to make enough money at all the things we do that we can afford to keep doing it. The core of what we do is print an agriculture newspaper that covers California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. We spend a fair amount of time figuring out how to do what we do and prepare for the more online dependent future.

One of the difficult parts of that is that people who love reading their news in a printed newspaper don't pay a heck of a lot of attention to websites. And young people, who have grown up in a world where their primary channels of information are computers, the Internet, cell phones and TV don't spend a lot of time reading printed news products.

I asked our Internet committee members today to each provide a list of the top 3 things our committee should do this year. Perhaps you, readers of the blogosphere, can help focus our goals for the year. What do you think are the top 3 things an agriculture newspaper should do in 2009 to serve online readers/viewers better?


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I see that you are on YouTube and are Podcasting. Have you thought of joining Twitter and Facebook?
Twitter is full of people involved in every realm of agriculture and I've had good numbers on my blog since linking it with Facebook.

I guess that's just two things (even though you asked for three!).

Gary L. West said...

Thanks for the reply and the suggestions. We are on both Twitter ( and Facebook. So feel free to look us up there. The podcast has gone on extended hiatus, unfortunately.

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