Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspapers Must Retain Credibility

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspapers Must Retain Credibility

Article excerpt

After all these years, many traditional newspaper people still aren't comfortable with the Internet. What makes them cringe isn't just the nerdy looking youngsters in new media departments or the Web's reputation as a 24-hour sexfest -- although those are reasons enough for some.

What's most disconcerting is the blurred line between editorial and advertising. Throw in e-commerce and that line is further obfuscated. E-commerce attracts not only eyeballs, but charms electronic cash from your readers' wallets while they're reading your stories. There's no stopping this freight train. As technology propels us forward, e-commerce and e-advertising will become more and more powerful.

The newspaper industry must understand that the Web is a different medium. And it must be treated differently. This has been said before, of course, but how many of us really get it? As Edwin Schlossberg writes in his new book, the public isn't yet using the Web to its full potential (see Books, pg. 52). Neither are editors, reporters, and publishers.

In the meantime, the Web isn't waiting for newspapers to catch up -- as this issue of mediainfo.com explores. Internet businesses are racing ahead with innovative marketing and transaction techniques. …

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