Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Critical Thinking: J-School Students and Industry Vets Tackle the Tough Questions

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Critical Thinking: J-School Students and Industry Vets Tackle the Tough Questions

Article excerpt

Q: If you had six months to increase the revenue of your newspaper by 10 percent, how would you do it?


Jamie Ratermann

21, senior at E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University

Ratermann is pursuing a degree in magazine journalism and a minor in Spanish. She is president of the award-winning Ohio University chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and editor-in-chief and founder of Thread magazine, an online digital flipbooko She graduates in June and hopes to find work in New York.

A. successful online component will boost revenue. However, the online formula for paid and unpaid content is tricky. I believe this formula will be profitable through compelling online features and related investigative multimedia for which my newspaper can charge.

Readers should be able to read 50 percent of my newspaper's content online without a price but would need to buy a one-day or a full-year subscription to have access to all news. Content that can be found on other media sources, such as sports scores, nationally covered news, and local government decisions, should be free. However, content that is priced should be content only my newspaper can provide, such as an investigative series, a popular column, or extra multimedia features.

Through this type of subscription, a reader would have two options--a full-year subscription or a one-day subscription. The one-day subscription would come with the purchase of the print newspaper or, if he or she is solely an online reader, a specific price per day. The content will bring traffic to the site by using tags on social media sites or the print newspaper, by advertising more features or through a related story.

The multimedia components will be a new method for more advertising revenue. A 30-second commercial (compelling video) before the feature begins could be a higher-priced advertising option. Online advertisements along the page or in between photos in an online photo feature would be another advertising channel.

Ultimately, finding the right formula for paid online content for each newspaper is important for revenue in this new media economy. …

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