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Thursday, April 21, 2005

US: two Websites for one paper?
Picking washingtonpost.com's brain

Mark Glaser at Online Journalism Review recently interviewed CEO and publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Caroline Little and washingtonpost.com's executive editor Jim Brady to find out where the heralded paper's web strategy is going. Here are some of the main ideas:

Splitting the website: Since the Washington Post juggles local and international news, Little and Brady are contemplating separating these domains into two separate sites pandering to their two distinct readerships. Site registration and location will determine which page is opened on the reader's computer.

No paid content: Both execs are hesitant about charging for their online material. With various search engines and blogs constantly connecting to their content, they figure that building a paywall will only be detrimental to traffic as so many other free news sites still remain.

Blogs: Although the paper has been launching a number of blogs on its site and would like to continue to do so, Brady sees a kind of contradiction in their use. He questions putting all of their blogs on one site seeing as they are so varied in subject matter.

Advertising: Both Brady and Little prioritize content. Quality content attracts readers, and readers attract advertisers.

Human vs. computer editors: For Brady, the human editor adds more value to the content. Referring to the popularity of its columns White House Briefing, Media Notes, and Today's Papers on the recently purchased Slate, "human aggregators" that WaPo employs are more valuable than their computer equivalents at Google or Yahoo.

Citizen's journalism: Although they're not ready to open their website to citizen publisher's quite yet, Brady is keeping an eye on the new medium and toying with ideas on how to implement it. If ever adopted, he says that it will be used where it makes the most sense; in hyper-local news.

Multimedia: WaPo.com has been showered with awards for its use of online images and video, but readers don't seem to know so. Presently, they are working on ways to make it more visible and easier to use, taking full advantage of the opportunities the Internet adds to journalism.

Mobile: Like most papers, WaPo is figuring out the best and most profitable way of integrating its content into mobile devices. Brady says that it's possible that news organizations will have to adapt to this evolving means of diffusing news.

Source: Online Journalism Review

Posted by john burke on April 21, 2005 at 01:01 PM in a. Citizen journalism, c. Multimedia convergence, g. Photojournalism, h. Young readers / New readers, m. Improving editorial quality, r. Revenues and business models | Permalink

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Picking washingtonpost.com's brain
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OJR talks to two senior staffers from washingtonpost.com about what's happening with the company and the site. [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 24, 2005 3:38:34 AM

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