Friday, March 28, 2008

What's the future of The N&O?

That’s the title of N&O executive editor for news John Drescher’s latest post at the Editors’ Blog. It follows in full, after which I provide a few comments below the star line.

Here’s Drescher’s post:

Newspapers are dying, right? Actually, a lot of them, including this one, have more readers than ever.

In Sunday’s Q, we write about what the future of The N&O might be. I describe our growth in readership (when print and online readers are combined). Publisher Orage Quarles III writes about the business challenges. N&O staffers discuss our top priorities for the year. Phil Meyer, a visionary UNC journalism professor who will be inducted Sunday into the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame, peers into the future.

Readers tell us what they like and don’t like about The N&O. Add your comments below.


I plan to leave a comment on the thread of Drescher’s post later today.
In the meantime, here are “highlights” from readers’ comments already there

Comment from: Fred Black [Visitor]
03/27/08 at 20:53
How do you account for those of us who are both print and online readers ?

Comment from: kbp [Visitor]
03/27/08 at 21:01
The truth comes to mind. I enjoy reading the truth, or criticizing those that do not report accurately.

One of my favorite reporters is a McClatchy employee in a different city. Ask Jack Weinstein if I email him praise often ( I'd pay a subscription online for the daily he works for.

Report the truth.
It's that simple.
I'd pay for the truth.

Comment from: JSwift [Visitor]
03/27/08 at 22:19

Many media organizations have shown an inability to admit their errors.

Dan Rather's use of forged documents provides perhaps the best example.
CNN admitted only after many years that it had regularly withheld news from Iraq critical of Saddam so that they could maintain their office in Bagdad.

The [Mar. 25, 2006 ] Khanna/Blythe article that ignited the media frenzy in what was finally exposed as the Duke frame omitted the word "alleged" several times, falsely claimed that it contained only information available in police reports, contradicted earlier stories in the N&O (just as the details of the accuser's arrest after her audition at a strip club years earlier), and withheld information for more than one year that would have cast doubts on her credibility.

Even today, the N&O continues to protect the source that set up this biased and inflammatory interview.

Many readers have asked the question: Who provided the tip that allowed the N&O to "scoop" the competition with this false account?

I echo kbp: report the truth.

Comment from: LTC8K6 [Visitor]
03/27/08 at 23:24

"Actually, a lot of them, including this one, have more readers then ever."

Perhaps more editors are needed...than ever.

Folks, while I agree with the commenters urging the N&O to report the truth on, among other stories, the Duke frame-up attempt and the ongoing cover-up of it, I doubt the N&O will do that.

Still, it’s important readers speak out. Even if the N&O ignores what you say, people coming to the Editors Blog will read it.

I hope many of you comment. You can do it on the thread here.


Anonymous said...


Duke just made the Powerlineblog site. Do you think the N&O will notice?

Ridicule is the perfect form of punishment for these corrupt officials.


Anonymous said...

What do J in C readers think is the perfect form of punishment for the N&O?

JSwift said...

The N&O should be required to have Mayor Bell answer every one of my questions about the DPD investigation (posted as comments on Dreshler's earlier blog post regarding "good" sources) and to ask hard probing questions if Mayor Bell does not provide credible answers.

In short, the N&O should be required merely to do its job.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:28

What do J in C readers think is the perfect form of punishment for the N&O?

- Decrease in ad' $
- Reduced credibility
- Criticism by audience

blah, blah, blah...

Pretty much what they have now.


Anonymous said...

I should point out that I was posting what would be the "perfect form of punishment" IMO.

Punishment is not what at the top of my wish list on this topic, it's actually a few steps down from the "truth".