Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A newspaper with a Web site or a Web site with a newspaper?

SND changed its name from the Society of Newspaper Design to the Society of News Design. ASNE has also considered changing its name, but maintaining its acronym. So the question plaguing editors is: Am I the editor of a newspaper with a Web site, or a Web site with a newspaper?

Many editors see the two going hand-in-hand, assuming responsibility for and accepting the benefits of each medium.

“They’re one in the same,” said Carolina Garcia, executive editor of The Herald in Monterey County, Calif. “It’s intertwined; you can’t separate the two.”

The Seattle Times’ executive editor David Boardman considers himself the editor of both a newspaper and a Web site.

“Our philosophy is to try to take advantage of both,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is having a Web site that focuses on immediacy and interaction and having a newspaper focused on in-depth reporting.” He added that the newspaper is trying to “integrate our resources and segregate out products.”

Although editors are stressing the importance of their online content, others are still maintaining their premier newspaper status.

“You can’t overlook the 150-year history of McClatchy putting out newspapers,” said Fred Povey, McClatchy-Tribune’s director of news services. But he acknowledges the growing interest in Web sites, saying, “They’re no longer just an add-on.”

USA Today, which continues to have the largest newspaper circulation in the country, is focused on determining where content should go.

“I see myself as the editor of a news organization,” said Ken Paulson, editor and senior vice president of USA Today and “There’s content that works better on the Web and content that works better in print.” He emphasized that the site is not solely newspaper articles posted online.


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