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Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - April 2011

News Is About News, Not Articles

News doesn't have to be about creating articles. Think of news as data! Think of ways to present news in the most valuable and efficient way possible. Think of reporting through news streams.

I wrote an article called "Advertising Turns Respectable Newspapers Into Spammers," and it quickly gained popularity.

In it, I wrote that newspapers have turned into spammers, and illustrated how their content strategy is wrong. As an example, I pointed to how newspapers had covered the problems with Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Newspapers have posted between 170-500+ to 400 articles. Each newspaper creating so many words that it could fill an entire book.

One example is yesterday's article in the New York Times titled, "Low Levels of Radiation Found in American Milk." This is link-baiting of the worst kind.

It might produce a lot of sharing and page views, but it has a disastrous effect on how people feel about the quality. It works if you are Demand Media. It does not work for a newspaper trying to get people to pay for news.

Your most valuable asset is your readers and the relationship and trust they have with you. Articles like these show a complete disrespect for the reader.

Stop destroying yourself with faulty "content strategies!" Help you readers, don't exploit them!

Forget the limitations of print!

How should newspapers cover stories like the Fukushima disaster? To answer that question, we first have to look back at print. Most newspapers don't seem to realize how limiting print really is. Nor how the print content models have a negative impact on digital coverage.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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