DaveNet: Saturday, April 19, 1997; by Dave Winer.
New model for old-newspaper publishingFrom John Cranfill, dallasnews.com managing editor, email@example.com:
I'm about to board a plane for Seybold NY, and thought you might want to see the new model for old-newspaper publishing on the web by taking a look at our page this morning, http://www.dallasnews.com/.
The lead story is significant in several ways. For the third time since we published the Timothy McVeigh confession story first on the web Feb. 28, we have followed this model: we published a major copyrighted drug laundering probe story on the web Friday afternoon, then printed it in the regular newspaper this morning. It affects back accounts in the four largest states in the U.S. Then we sat back and watched.
The reaction is typical: the Associated Press picks up the story, then the MSNBC folks call, then CNN, the commercial networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) do news broadcasts and other web sites are likely to discover the story and may actually link to the web site, if they don't do their own version. The story will "play" all weekend, like it did with CNN broadcasting live news conferences from Denver featuring Stephen Jones, McVeigh's attorney.
In the McVeigh story, we were buried by calls. Thus, the entire television industry becomes your circulation department. And the whole world wide web becomes your circulation department. And a web site in Texas or anywhere becomes your local newspaper.
There's no such thing as scooping yourself in this process, even in a competitive situation, because you are out there first with the whole world watching. I'm seeing what I call a pinball model of publishing now: readers see the story on the web, then it's on the wire where television and radio pick it up, then they come back to the newspaper, then back to television for more reaction, and back to the web to see what others are writing, and so on--all this for just one story.
It's very interesting to do this, and requires cooperation from the entire newsroom, driven from the originating reporter and originating desk editor (national, international, metro desk, etc.) up through the paper's editor. This is not an easy process to change, but once you do, it produces compelling news reports, accessed much more dynamically.
Hope to see you at Seybold New York in a few days and discuss this more.