Sunday, April 5, 2009

Is Web an Opportunity for Laid-Off Newspaper Reporters?

Is the same phenemonon that is partly the cause of layoffs in the newspaper business a small opportunity for the people being laid off?

In years past, if a community was dissatisfied with the coverage of its local paper, readers usually had few options other than to complain or stop their subscriptions. And if employees were unhappy, well, the costs of starting up a competitor were prohibitive.

But now, freed from the price of printing presses, ink, and paper, it's a little easier.

Laid off reporters in Ann Arbor might consider pooling their expertise and setting up a web-based newspaper to compete with The click-through ads can provide more revenue than one might think, given that the cost of a web page isn't anywhere near what a printing press is.

And who's to say that the product will automatically be superior or that it will automatically attract more readers than an effort started by spurned reporters?

Now that the Livingston Press and Argus has laid off two people, there would be the beginnings of a Livingston County news coverage organization, possibly taking in some of the folks from the old Ann Arbor News organization in Brighton.

Might as well try something. And for people who love to report and write about the news, it would be a way to keep doing what they love.

1 comment:

Communications guru said...

There is one problem with your post. You said, “Now that the Livingston Press and Argus has laid off two people.” It laid off at least 10 people. One was a friend of mine who started there when she was in high school and worked her way up to management. Almost 20 years down the drain. I’m not sure who the other people who lost their jobs are.