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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

USA Today : Print & e-newsrooms merge

In what can be seen as a decisive move USA Today is combining its print and online newsrooms in a move that the newspaper hopes will create a news organization that goes beyond an "arm's-length collaboration." The newsrooms will be combined to create a single USA Today news operation. Areas such as travel, entertainment and breaking news would be integrated first in the planned overall integration. USA Today has a total average daily circulation of 2.3 million, while the Web site had 10.4 million unique visitors according to October 2005 Nielsen NetRatings, according to USA Today.I wrote while covering the competition between the online and print media that online may not cannibalise but could advance easy reach and more sales - numerous studies suggest that several consumers look at websites - before making the actual purchase either online or offline. Recenty Dow Jones announced more profits from online compared to traditional media(This in my opinion reflects two things: Online making traditional media reach to larger people and rise of online world can't be resisted - better embrace it -Indications are that combined strength of both online and offline readership of WSJ is larger than traditional print media readership).Retailers can definitely experience that buyers of all trendy and unique things surf online, do their research before any purchase - In the online world through comparison shopping, targetted advertising, promotional schemes, personalisation and preference patterns all provide unique value that can potentially drive offline sale as well quite significantly. Add mobile technologies and online world - the combination can really create deep impact in the offline world. The daily circulation of American newspapers peaked in 1984 and had fallen nearly 13% to 55.2 million copies in 2003, according to the Newspaper Association of America.The losses come at a time when Americans have many news outlets that didn't exist 20 years ago, including cable-television news channels and Internet sites, as well as email and cellphone alerts. Many newspapers have substantial and free online sites offering much of what is in the printed paper. These sites might not hurt readership overall, but they can erode a newspaper's paying audience. At the same time, many newspapers have undercut the print product itself, trimming staff and coverage. They also have failed to figure out how to attract younger readers to their pages. Warren Buffet is a longstanding director and shareholder of The Washington Post "sees no clear way" for papers to stem recent circulation declines or turn Internet operations into highly-profitable enterprises. The future of newspapers is to change from a news organization into a news community. Readers would like to do a lot more with news. They would like to see the different angles of a story. They would like to understand it. They would like to know what it means for them. They would like to know how to deal with the consequences. And they would like to know what others think. In other words, the news is the beginning of a process, it's not the end. The digital revolution is definitely challenging the media channels.And USA Today has made the right move in bringing atleast the news generation and synthesis frameworks together to leverage and grow both business better.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"