Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Radio static

Latest Bobcast is up. Listen here or read below.

My car radio has a problem. Most mornings when I turn it on I hear something familiar, namely portions of the stories published in the latest edition of The Anniston Star are read aloud word-for-word.
Credit to the newspaper doing the original reporting is rare, very rare.
What’s presented from these local Les Nessmans is their "news" from the studios of W-whatever-it-is. But the shoe-leather reporting applied to this broadcast amounts to dropping two quarters in the newspaper box. In the print world, lifting others work without credit is a serious no-no. Careers have been ruined for such.
To be fair we should now the list the local radio news stories cribbed by Star reporters.

Everybody get that?
Here’s the point. There’s lots of talk about how newspapers ought to charge for its original reporting online, as The Star does. A chorus is building in the newspaper industry that “free” is a losing business strategy.
Let’s not debate the merits or demerits of this point now. Instead, let’s consider it from the standpoint of original reporting. Lots of online readers say they get their news from Yahoo News or Google News. Problem is Yahoo and Google don’t send reporters to cover the Anniston City Council or the senior citizens Valentine’s party at the Oxford Civic Center.
In fact, those Web sites don’t cover anything, national or local. They merely link to the original reporting of others.
Seems to me if the original reporters go away, the online aggregators will produce nothing but static when it comes to news, and so will most of local radio.