Saturday, March 27, 2010

Round the New England blogging traps 14 - a media focus

I fear that the University of New England's Senior Management blog remains in suspended animation. The last post was 27 November last year!

Congratulations to Armidale writer Bronwyn Parry for the short listing of Dark Country for the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards. Bron's partner Gordon Smith's Old news from Armidale and New England continues to distract me far more than it should. I keep wanting to write companion pieces!

The Save Bellingen Hospital Facebook page has now reached 3,120 fans! I am conscious that I have to do an update story here.

Just for the sake of discussion, I created a New England New State Movement Group on Facebook. I don't expect this to become a huge group in the short term - there are two members at this point! - but over the next few months I would like to think that this might build to at least a small discussion group.

I have already mentioned my gratitude to North Coast Voices for alerting me to the death of Patricia Wrightson.  One of the points I made in my response is the need I have to find out more about North Coast writers in a general sense. Do you have any names of writers that I should be aware of? 

Sticking with NCV, I have nothing but sympathy for Clarence Girl's reaction to the tasteless joke in Pushing that misogynistic boulder up Mount Everest. I also liked Imelda Jennings' guest post Brolgas fly into the Clarence Valley.

Turning now to Craig Wilson's Media Hunter. There were several recent posts there of interest.

While I agree in general with Has marketing entered the specialist era?, I have very specific problems with the idea put forward in the following quote:

A few days ago Marc Andreesen advised the old media to “burn the boats”. In particular he was referring to the print media who have been attempting to straddle print and online for the last decade. Andressen feels that these guys need to commit to one or the other, ideally burning their original platform to wholeheartedly embrace their digital futures. Unfortunately too many of these organisations are finding it impossible to let go of their old business model, and perhaps they can’t.

I spend a fair bit of time monitoring the on-line versions of the New England media. My charge, one that I have put to Christian Knight as editor of the Armidale Express, is that I don't think that they manage their on-line presence well. However, to suggest doing away with the print version strikes me as not very sensible.

I say this for three reasons.

First, a fair number of country readers at least either do not use on-line or prefer a print version. So you write these readers off for a start. Then, too, the use of supplements and special editions often carried in several newspapers is a major revenue source not easily available on-line. Finally, on-line and print readers are not same. The on-line readership is broader and needs to be specially targeted. It is this area that I think the papers are especially failing.

Another post that I found especially interesting was Are television networks feeling the digital effects?. I had been wondering what impact the new free-to-air run digital channels had been having on their parents. Cannibalisation seems to be part of the answer. I suspect that there is a nasty side-effect here from a regional perspective. The more audiences are fragmented, the lower the commercial returns from regionalisation.

Well, I am out of time. More later.   


Bronwyn Parry said...

Thanks for the congrats, Jim! You'll probably be interested to know that of the three Australian RITA finalists this year, two of us live in the Armidale district! Kelly Hunter is the other local, and this year is her second RITA final.

Jim Belshaw said...

Now that's fascinating, Bronwyn. An Armidale author that I knew nothing about! Another gap!