There are two big articles out today about shake-ups in the newspaper industry and its attempts to deal with online competition. In the New York Times, Katharine Q. Seelye writes that many mid-size regional papers are cutting D.C. bureau staff because so much of what happens in Washington is available online, either directly (transcripts, reports, audio, etc.) or as reported by a big national news organization. In the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz reports on the slimmed-down Wall Street Journal. Here’s the paragraph that sums things up:
Steiger says he assumes that most readers, though not all, have already seen the day’s news online. The paper plans to break most of its exclusives on its subscription-only Web site, which has 800,000 customers. When the Journal learned that Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet would resign rather than make corporate-mandated budget cuts, it put the story online — prompting Baquet to confirm the news to his staff — and came back with a more detailed piece the next morning.
There are two ways newspapers can deal with this new reality. The regionals are going local. The nationals are going with more analysis in the print product while breaking news online.