If I understand this piece in SFGate by Joe Garofoli correctly, though his thesis isn’t clear, it is: We don’t need to worry about Media News acquiring more Bay Area papers because in the new media era, the idea of big media consolidation is inconsequential. (via Romenesko)
He’s probably right.
What may not be so right, though, is this comment:
The painful irony for newspapers, said Amy Mitchell, associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, is that those new-media news aggregators are using newspaper stories without having to pay for them.
“These aggregators are eating their own seed corn,” Mitchell said. “They’re taking readers away from newspapers — and advertising — and that leaves newspapers with fewer resources to cover local news.”
Now, it’s not clear which aggregators Mitchell is talking about, but not all aggregators are created equal. Some aggregators merely slurp up wire service copy and spit it out as their own (most of the portals), but a few actually direct traffic to newspaper Web sites. Google News is one, but Yahoo’s new local news channel holds the promise of generating a nice chunk of traffic for to local news sites.
While smart site managers realize the best site traffic is that which enterers through the home page and clicks around on six or seven links before leaving, you can’t complain about one of the most popular news sites on the Web regularly sending you visitors. And if you’re one of the smart news sites with user registration, you have a much better chance of converting these visitors into more loyal members of your audience.
Of course, you’re really only interested in site visitors with roots in your community, which is why the Yahoo! experience looks so tasty. It pre-qualifies local visitors for your site in a way that Google doesn’t.
Newspaper Web sites could use more such aggregators.