If you think online news is difficult…

If using a Web-based content management system is difficult, try putting together a print edition in an old version of Quark and then come back and tell me how hard it is to push the Publish button.

If editing video takes too long, then go back to developing your own prints in the darkroom.

If exploring the Web to find interesting widgets and tools to display content in a new way seems like an insurmountable problem, try cutting the stories, photos, and advertisements in your paper out with razor blades and pasting them into the right spot.

If you can’t be bothered to post a breaking news story online after your print deadline, try yelling “Stop the press!” sometime. (Good luck with that one.)

If you think selling online advertising is hard, try selling subscriptions.

19 thoughts on “If you think online news is difficult…

  1. If you think flipping open your cell phone to call in details from the scene of a news story is distracting, try using acoustic couplers to FTP a story back to the office from a public payphone.

  2. If you think GIS is difficult, try calculating a map projection by hand and overlaying it with acetate.

    if you think google charts API is ugly, try making fresh charts multiple times a day for every town in your state.

    if you think RSS readers are hard, try checking 3 dozen websites 3 times a day.

    if you think wordpress is hard, try hard coding blog updates and pinging technorati on your own.

    If you think making quality online journalism with diminishing resources is hard, try making quality print journalism with diminishing resources.

  3. If you think putting together a print edition in an old version of Quark is hard, try unscrambling a CSS browser inconsistency with conditional comments.

    If you think cutting and pasting information with a razor blade for an informational chart is hard, try building a relational database in third normal form and an application on top of it so you can serve it up on the Web.

    If you think sending a story via payphone is hard, try writing a breaking news version of a story, taking a set of photographs, shooting video and sending THAT all in via AirCard while trying not to libel anyone. Then go back and finish the print edition version.

  4. If you think the business climate is inhospitable now, try putting out the October 1690 edition of Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick. Ain’t gonna happen, dude.

    If you think working on a web-first breaking news team is hard, try getting the news of Marie Antoinette’s execution back to your editor in less than a week. It will be difficult!

    If you think being one of 1,400 McClatchy employees who lost their jobs this week is hard … it sure as hell is. Let’s not feel too smug about how clever we all are simply because we move 1s and 0s around when so many of our colleagues have been so unceremoniously dumped from career to which many had dedicated their entire adult lives.

  5. If you think you know how to run a newspaper . . . try running a company’s stock from $21 per share to $2 per share in 1 year!!

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