About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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« Get It Right the First Time | Main | Bill Wyman Speaks Truth to Power »

August 12, 2009


Chris M.

A slightly different take...

It didn't make sense to send 14 staffers to the Super Bowl ... to do the same kinds of stories and notes packages. It never made sense, not this year or in years past. And they're only changing now due to costs restrictions.

It would make sense for Tribune Company to send their own squadron of veteran and expert reporters and photogs to one of the biggest sporting events of the year if there was a truly coordinated effort to use that news team to produce a rich (and sponsored) Super Bowl multi-platform news product that readers would devour in each of those newspaper's cities (and elsewhere across the web).

Imagine the traffic and advertiser interest a Tribune Company Super Bowl site might draw with that kind of content and the firepower of links from the top newspaper websites.


First of all, the Super Bowl is a national story. And why are you "hatin" on those journalists? They got to go to the Super Bowl, who cares if it was unnecessary? As an aspiring sports journalist, I hope that none of my possible future employers happen to read this. Thanks.

Mark Potts

C: I'd suggest that as part of your education as an aspiring sports journalist, you take some classes on the business of journalism. I think you'll quickly find out that the (new) reality of the business is that unnecessary coverage is no longer paid for by smart news organizations that hope to have a long-term future. Hence the Tribune's decision. Covering something simply because it's there, or cool, or fun for the journalists, doesn't cut it anymore.


With so many reporters covering the same story, there's little wonder that news has become a commodity. I was sent by my editor to cover the US operations in Afghanistan in October 2001.

When I got to Uzbekistan I was amazed to see the media circus. 100 reporters from around the world covering the same story, attending the same press conferences, speaking to the same sources.

We know what happens to the price when the product becomes a commodity.

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