Welcome to My First "Stop the Presses!" Column

By: Steve Outing

Hello, and thanks for stopping by. This is the inaugural column of "Stop the Presses! Newspaper New Media News & Analysis," a 5-day-a-week information resource for the newspaper new media industry. I sincerely hope you will add this page to your Web browser's bookmarks and check in here daily. I plan to make it worth your while. And, hey, the price is right ... It's free, made possible by the folks at Editor & Publisher magazine, who want E&P to become your primary source for news about how the newspaper industry can learn to use and profit from interactive technology.

What you will read in this space

First, let me assure you that this column will not contribute to the information overload you already experience. Each daily installment will be brief and to the point. Stop in at the end of your workday (columns will be posted Monday-Friday in the late afternoon) for a quick fix of newspaper new media news, analysis, rumor and more.

You will find something different every day. Content I plan to include: Industry headline news. * Analysis of significant new media developments and long-term trends. * New online; announcements and reviews. * Industry people; announcements and interviews. * Alliances. * Pointers to significant resources. * Statistics on growth of newspaper new media. * The good, the bad and the ugly; reviews of online newspaper services. * Useful "how to" information. * Ideas for what to include on your online service. * ... In short, anything that's important to the newspaper new media industry will show up in this column.

If you work in the newspaper industry in new media, as a decision-maker on new media projects, or in a company that works or sells to the newspaper industry, this Web column is must reading. (It is available only on the Web, and not in print, by the way.)

Why I am writing "Stop the Presses!"

The new media sector of the newspaper industry is booming. More than 300 newspapers worldwide have created supplemental online services -- more than 200 of them since the beginning of 1995. Well over 3,000 newspapers in North America operate interactive services such as audiotext, fax-back services, voice personals and online services. New media is blossoming, as traditional newspaper print publishing is experiencing a continuing downturn. New media is the most exciting and promising sector of the newspaper business in the mid-'90s and beyond.

Unfortunately, information about how to turn newspaper new media projects into profit centers is hard to find. Because this business is so young, many publishers are following the herd in creating interactive services without understanding or knowing where the journey will take them -- to the bank or over a cliff. This column will give you useful information that will help you create and grow profitable interactive services for your newspaper. ... And keep you on top of the latest new media industry news.

About Steve Outing

For those of you who don't know me already, I operate a consulting company, Planetary News LLC, that exists to help the newspaper industry develop interactive services. I operate a World Wide Web site, the "Online Newspaper Services Resource Directory," as part of Editor & Publisher's MediaInfo Interactive service. It is the principal resource for this business and profiles more than 300 online newspaper services.

I run two Internet mailing lists, "online-news" and "online-newspapers," which are the primary discussion forums in cyberspace for online-newspaper, -magazine and -newsletter professionals. I am also the author of the "1995 Online Newspaper Report," and plan to publish other new media industry research reports in the future.

As to my credentials in the traditional print world, I worked for over a decade and a half as an editor, writer and designer for such newspapers as the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and Boulder Daily Camera before succumbing to the lure of cyberspace.

Got a tip? Let me know about it

If you have a newsworthy item about the newspaper new media business, please send me a note at steve@planetarynews.com.

See you Monday!

I promised to keep my columns short, so the real news will start Monday. I hope to see you here often.

This column is written by Steve Outing and underwritten by Editor & Publisher magazine. Tips, letters and feedback can be sent to Steve at steve@planetarynews.com


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