Well, here’s a novel way of trying to protect newsprint. The editor of the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat has announced that from now on each Sunday he will publish a major story that will appear only in print.
Sunday’s are special days for readers of traditional print editions of newspapers. More people read the newspaper that day. There are more features and advertisements. More young adult readers pick up a copy of the Sunday paper than any other day of the week, based on national statistics.
We want to keep Sundays special for our print-edition readers, who pay extra for the newspaper and deserve more.
Each week, we’re going to develop a special report aimed at them, something that moves beyond the news to provide greater depth and analysis of a story, and publish it exclusively in print.
The story will not appear on its web site, he says. Is that a good move? Subscribers who may be out of town and want to catch on the hometown news might not think so. Nor will it do much to advance a story that deserves “greater depth and analysis.” Still, he has one good point.
Most digital readers simply won’t read the long narrative Sunday story; we know that these stories, while in high demand in print, don’t generate huge traffic online, which has evolved into a breaking-news medium and a place for readers to discuss the news. We’ll use online to provide multimedia and long documents that don’t work in print.
I certainly don’t like reading long stories online. Interesting concept.