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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Interactivity isn’t only for Facebook | John Halverson, Lake Geneva News

Halvorson, general manager and editor of a regional newspaper, describes how, in desperation, he asked readers for help in providing photographs for some articles. But, it turned out, he appreciated the serendipity of that "citizen journalism."

He writes:
Some optimists in our business say that newspapers on newsprint are going to be around forever. I sure hope so.
But to put it in historical perspective, newspapers as we know them have only been around a few hundred years. It's a relatively new means of communication that's already faced challenges from radio and television.
And now it's tweeting and Facebook and similar means of electronic communications. Whether newspapers on newsprint survive is debatable, but the information they produce will remain important. And if newspapers want to survive it's my feeling that they need to dig into their pasts for something they've given up on - interacting with readers.
And concludes:
Back when I started old-time editors used to say the paper should be full of "names and faces." That's what sells papers, they said. Young bucks like me used to reply, "well, let's just print the phone book then."
There's a middle ground in there somewhere, and I'd like to find it.
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