FREE WHITEWATER

Press

One Paywall to Rule Them All?

Two days ago, I wrote about another local newspaper becoming part of the APG chain. See Another Newspaper in the Shredder. It’s possible that these acquisitions will lead to an area-wide paywall, and perhaps even a strong paywall (hard to get around even with advances in incognito browsing). The theory, one supposes, is that the…

Another Newspaper in the Shredder

One reads that APG has purchased another Wisconsin newspaper, the Beloit Daily News.   A few reminders: 1. Advertising revenue won’t sustain most locals newspapers, in print or online. 2. Only desperate advertisers will pay for ads in local newspapers running mostly press releases. There aren’t enough of desperate advertisers. 3. Subscriptions (for newspapers or…

Public Records Requests as Pre-Litigation Actions

Wisconsinites submitting public records requests under the law (Wis. Stat. §§ 19.31 et seq.) may do so for any number of reasons (and need not declare a motivation of any sort). Not everyone will have the same aims in mind. For someone who’s a publisher (newspaper, magazine, blogger), however, a sensible way to look at…

What Can Be Done About Rural Newspapers (Even Though It Probably Won’t Be)?

Yesterday I wrote that Another Local Paper Changes Hands. With the failure of legacy publishing, what are rural communities to do? (Obvious point: FREE WHITEWATER is not an online newspaper – never aspired to be, never will be. This is a website of independent commentary: aligned with no faction, beholden to no faction.) A few…

Lessons from a Digital Newspaper Now Making Money

In late April, I wrote about The Media’s ‘Post-Advertising’ Future (advertising’s not enough to sustain publications, subscriptions will prove necessary for most publications, and “[t]he key lesson for publishers is to offer sharp (and sometimes sharp-tongued) writing, to see that content is king”).  (A word about FREE WHITEWATER.  This website accepts no advertising, requires no…

The Media’s ‘Post-Advertising’ Future

Nationally and locally, the media (whether profit or non-profit) continue their significant transformation: the decline of print, the rise of (interactive) digital media, and the collapse of a middle-of-the-road partnership of boosterism between mediocre newspapers and middling officials. Print’s doomed, and so is digital that merely repeats the same banal style of contemporary print. Traditional…

Clever? Not Really…

One reads that the Daily Union, a local paper chasing alleged embezzlement first reported in the Janesville Gazette, has decided to grab the story and add a supposedly clever headline: Honest to goodness, how does editor Chris Spangler expect ordinary people to keep up with a subtle headline like that? One needs to take a…

The Middle Lane is a Dirt Road to Decay, Pt. 2

Last month, this site linked to media critic Margaret Sullivan’s observation that The media feel safest in the middle lane. Just ask Jeff Flake, John Kasich and Howard Schultz: Who is the media’s middle-lane approach actually good for? Not the public, certainly, since readers and viewers would benefit from strong viewpoints across the full spectrum…

Hedge Funds Have No Table Manners Whatever

Brian Stelter writes Gannett journalists anxious amid report that Digital First Media is circling the company: Cara Lombardo’s unsettling Sunday night scoop for the WSJ: “A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs is planning to make an offer for USA Today publisher Gannett, according to people familiar with the…

‘A Free Press Needs You’

Following Trump’s repeated attacks on the press as the enemy of the people, hundreds of publications across America are today uniting in a defense of their right to free expression. The editorial board of the New York Times, in A Free Press Needs You, describes our heritage and the threat to it: In 1787, the…