Monday, October 15, 2007

Mark Briggs, Newspaper Innovation and Webcasts

An idea occured to me when my TINST 207 class had the pleasure of a visit from Mark Briggs last week.

Mark Briggs is editor of, the flagship web site for The News Tribune newspaper in Tacoma, Wash. He follows online activities and web trends from his blog Online in the South Sound as well as tracks innovations and technical trends within the newspaper industry.

I recently posted about his book Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age" and would like to note that there is also an accompanying blog.

The visit was preceded up by the now familiar EPIC 2015 film, which discusses the demise of the Fourth Estate and the subsequent rise of consumer generated information. It ends on a much warmer and fuzzier note than the original EPIC 2014.

When you consider that the print circulation of our local newspaper was down in May of 2007 and the online activity was up, the launch of the presentation and following question and answers seemed appropriate.

One thing was made clear. It isn’t just about print and ink anymore, and Mark showed some excellent examples how newspapers were remaining hubs of the community by employing online interactive components that leveraged the news gathering machine that was already humming along.

Included was a mapping program that could allow you to trace out your route in Chicago, and then get a report on crimes reported along that route, sortable by crime type. This feature won a Grand Prize Batten Award in 2005 for its innovativeness.

“"A pioneering integration of geomapping and a public database, it delivers one of the most comprehensive crime sites online. It's a knock-out for one journalist to see all the pieces and put them together.”
-2005 Batten Advisory Board Judges”

What I found even more interesting was a couple of sports journalists for a Naples Florida paper, The Naples Daily News, who produced a video prep sports report for their newspapers web site. With a professional looking opening sequence a crew of production staff, it looks like a bit of crossover into television territory to me.

Considering Tacoma and the South Sound lost their last dedicated local television station in 2001 when KSTW left for Seattle (Renton,) maybe we have an opportunity here. How about a web based local news program on a nightly basis in conjunction with the Tribunes staff? How about it you Grit City bloggers?


Erik said...

I think Mark should do an interview with the TacomaGnome. It's one of the most fun new blogs on-line in Tacoma!

Droid116 said...

I think the TacomaGnome should host a gardening and travel segment.

NineInchNachos said...

OK so 'family' newspapers are going the way of the dinosaur... decision makers are headbutting their heads against the desk trying to think of ways to re-connect with the great unwashed masses who are leaving for the undying lands of youTube, specialized blogs etc.

So the modern newspapers make sacrifices. First to go are luxury items like the local political cartoonists (coincidently the only thing making them unique). The results: an accelerated downward spiral of expectations from the population for which you're trying to win over.

Their argument is "we can't afford to have a local political cartoonist" My argument: "You can't afford NOT to have a local political cartoonist"

Even so, thank for pointing out the New Briggs blog! :)

Anonymous said...

This is totally unrelated, but this is in response to your comment on noisms post on sports: I really wish the Seahawks had beaten the Saints.

I'm a die-hard Falcons fan.

Droid116 said...

That's ok Manticore, I too wanted the Seahawks to win. Hard to climb back from out the hole they dug for themselves.

Relating it back to Mark Briggs visit. He mentioned that by far the most traffic to the Tribune blogs goes through the Seahawks blog.

Mike Sando who covered the 'hawks since 2005, won awards for the blog and got hired away by ESPN in July of this year.

Frank Hughes has taken over since then.

Hopefully you have seen the press release from the EDB about Infoblox renewing its lease in Tacoma for another six years. Growing from sixty...