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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

There IS Another Side to the Greensboro News & Record Story

Greensboro News & Record editor John Robinson has made headlines within the newspaper industry in recent weeks by boldly vowing to move his newspaper into the Blog age by entering, in the words of the Professor, "a period of invention, including rapid evolution away from the standard newspaper site-- into more of an online community, a public square, or something equally 'transformative' in nature."

Robinson assigned the task of filling in many of the blanks of what might be included in the way of transforming invention to one of his senior editors, Lex Alexander, who put his ear to the ground, did some important research and concluded that:

"If we are to survive as a business dedicated to producing quality local news, information and dialogue, we need to move, too – with people and resources.
"But that means more than just re-creating the print product online. It means understanding the culture of the Internet, and of blogging in particular, and understanding how we can work on and with the Internet (i.e., with users of that medium) to expand the quantity and quality of the local news, information and dialogue we provide.
"It also means understanding that the very definition of news, or journalism, is changing. Particularly with the growing popularity of blogs, online audiences expect to have a say – not total control, but a say -- in what we cover, and how, and why."

You can read Alexander's full report here and I encourage you to do so.

There must be something in the water in Greensboro because what is going on at the News & Record is not the only important news there. Somebody else in that North Carolina town took the plunge into online news a couple of years ago and they have learned some invaluable lessons. Stay tuned to discover what those lessons are and to find out more about the RINO.