Daily Archives: July 9, 2012

Former Patch editor-in-chief Brian Farnham says Journatic should be given a chance to make up for the fake bylines fiasco and do better, but…

I have to admit the operation gives me a cheap feeling. It’s hard to put your finger on, but it may be the lack of mission, of purpose (outside of making money) that one senses from them. They give me the same feeling that speed chess does — they seem to exist only to win a game, not to improve how it’s played, or (God forbid) to extend the life of an art form.

* Journatic episode illustrates cost/quality issue in hyperlocal (

Newspapers’ financial distress “is more visible by the week,” writes New York Times media columnist David Carr. “With underfunded pension plans, unserviceable debt and legacy manufacturing processes and union agreements, the newspaper industry looks a lot like, well, steel, autos and textiles.” (Carr says he’s told by “two highly placed newspaper executives” that more newspaper companies will probably use strategic bankruptcies to deal with pension obligations.)

David Carr

The bread and butter for most of the industry is local information. But it has become seemingly impossible to make money creating daily compendiums and throwing it on people’s doorsteps. ….

And it’s not just newspapers. AOL’s ambitious local news effort, called Patch, is losing $150 million a year, by some estimates, and is no closer to cracking the code.

Carr says the Newhouse family’s regional Web sites — including,, — “have generated traffic and have active forums, but they are a miserable place to consume news. Balky and ugly, with a digital revenue base below much of the rest of the industry, they seem like a shaky platform on which to build a business.”

But, he adds, “who is to say that the Newhouse family is any more misguided than the rest of an industry that is scrambling for safe ground? After all, the math is daunting, and there is a shortage of magic bullets.”

* Newspapers are running out of time to adapt to a digital future (New York Times)
* Hannah Miet on Carr’s column and Kari Dequine’s letter to Romenesko (Atlantic Wire)
* Gannett’s pension plan is worth a closer look (Gannett Blog)