Friday, February 8, 2008

The Cap Times reinvents itself

Madison's progressive afternoon daily will never be the same. The Cap Times announced yesterday that it would cease six-day production of its afternoon print edition, following a trend of demises for afternoon dailies across the country. The paper will primarily have an online presence starting in April, with two weekly tabloid versions inside its competitor the State Journal. Though seemingly grim news, the change isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"Many people think that in order to be powerful, a journalist has to reach a huge audience," said Ellen Hume, Research Director of the Center for Future Civic Media, in a speech at West Bohemia University. "No, in order to be powerful, a journalist has to reach the audience that can make a difference to an issue. It can be one person."

Formerly as an intern and contributor, and always as a reader of the Cap Times, I see the the paper filling a needed watchdog role. With Madison's popular progressive readership, the paper has featured such stories as an expose on the doctor abuse within the prison system, the hidden costs behind charity fund raisers, unsavory lobbying of the state cable bill, and more. It's hard to think that silencing such a voice would be acceptable to readers.

Despite a low paper circulation hovering around 17,000, the State Journal's needed subsidies, and high number of staff, the Cap Times could be economically viable as an online product.

From my own experience, online readership of the Cap Times is hardly waning. As an intern, I read responses to my articles (hate mail and otherwise) from NY, UK, CA...A story jointly written by city editor Chris Murphy and I on one of Sen. Feingold's listen sessions caught tens of thousands of hits online within a couple of days.

The news organization has also shown some innovation last spring in revamping its style. Tighter columns on its Web site allowing for more easy online reading, page format seems much less cluttered, and a quick reader response feature gives a nod to bloggers. John Nichols gave live-blogging a go during municipal elections last spring and the staff is toying with video editorials.

Among other things that could be useful are a hyperlink sharing features for blogging and social networking sites (Facebook, Digg, Blogger, Newsvine tabs) and permalinks for stories. As if Shauna didn't have enough to do...

The main competitor for the Cap Times will be thedailypage.com, for which I've also written. Both present a more progressive viewpoint, not afraid to bring fire to a debate on local politics or fallacies in the justice system. But thedailypage.com is strictly local, featuring more arts and entertainment than news. Cap Times could show broader reach into state politics.

Breaking news could be where Cap Times will hold it's niche. Prior agreements with the State Journal have allowed it to seize on breaking news of the day. Whether this agreement changes?? Also, with no paper product, the local news shouldn't be subject to a noon deadline anymore.

The toughest part of the changeover at Cap Times will be staff cuts. Online publishing decreases the need for as many staff, but a short-staffed editorial department could hinder content.

Such is the nature of the old guard of newspapers unless there is consolidation across media, something that the progressive paper won't do. Here in Chicago, there's cuts at the Sun-Times (also due to stupid business decisions) and Sam Zell's purchase of Tribune Co. is allowing a media empire to stay competitive (possibly to the detriment of the %#@&ing news).

With all the economic bogymen in today's news world, Cap Times still has a leg to stand on. And it should keep on fighting.

30 comments:

JD said...

"Formerly as an intern and contributor, and always as a reader of the Cap Times, I see the the paper filling a needed watchdog role."

While I agree that the watchdog roll is important, more people find that blogs and online media perform this function according to a recent Zogby poll. In my mind, that is part of the reason why CapTimes.com will thrive if given a chance.

matthew said...

I'd be interested in what you have to say about the effect of multiple sources of the same media in a particular area. With Madison becoming a one 'paper' town, that would really leave the State Journal as the only paper source, which at least 17,000 people do seem to use.

Here in the Twin Cities there are still two main-standing papers (The Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press), and they seem to be forcing each other into more competitive models within the 'newspaper' medium, as creating soap opera moments with the Par Ridder scandals. (He's the heir of the Knight Ridder paper empire, and apparently a complete idiot too). I always wonder what sort of effect a monopoly status has on the quality of a newspaper itself (like the difference between the Twin Cities, with a multiple sources, and Milwaukee, with only the Journal Sentinel).

B. Broeren said...

To Sup,

I'm an advocate of open source software, civic democratic participation, and the free-market idea that competition will product a better product. The same holds true with the news. State Journal, Cap Times, and Isthmus are all competing for the attention of readers in Madison. The writing style is consistently superior to that in one-newspaper towns, and readers(users) have more perspectives to choose from. Particularly with smaller media organizations, they go after a niche and tend not to follow the momentary fashions of large media. I see this in chitowndailynews.org vs. the Chicago Tribune.

Of course big media doesn't necessarily become uniform and boring once it's competitors are gone. A UW-Madison Media study (I can't remember the name, but can refer you to a professor who can) found that some larger news groups can take more risks in what it covers because of the sheer volume of its product, i.e. they can take risks and recover.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I want not concur on it. I think nice post. Specially the designation attracted me to study the whole story.

Anonymous said...

Nice post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.

Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

good blog friends! Post your article which is also useful for readers and to share information or experiences you have. I will visit your blog again. thank you very much. i love you full http://www.male-sexual.com

Anonymous said...

Free information about penis enlargement products, how it works, price of products, top products, and review of penis products. Visit http://www.buypenisenlargement.com
- male enhancement pills - http://www.male-sexual.com

Anonymous said...

Naturomax is a high quality male improvement pill that’s guaranteed to improve your sex life. http://www.male-sexual.com/naturomax.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pobXsnw7CWs

Anonymous said...

They are becoming the enhancement option of choice for many men for several reasons. vimax pills is the best penis enlargement pills on the market today.more info visit http://www.male-sexual.com/vimax-pills.html

Anonymous said...

Hello webmaster! i am really appreciating you for your kindness that
you have made a really interesting blog,We Reccomend only the
best Male Enhancement ,
Best Penis Enlargement ,
Penis Enlargement
, Buy Weight Loss Pills ,
Buy Viagra Online ,
from across the globe Generic Viagra Online
and Cheap Viagra Online in market.

Anonymous said...

secrets book -
spam bully -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
starting a day care center -
tattoo fever -
team idemise -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
the super mind evolution system -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
wrap candy -
zygor guides -
7day ebook -
360 fix kit -
advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -
affiliate naire -
art of approaching -
beating adwords -
believe and manifest -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -

Anonymous said...

burthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
convert 2 ev -
cure for bruxism -
cure hemorrhoids -
digi cam cash -
digital media solution -
dl guard -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -
error killer -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
flatten your abs -
gamers testing ground -

Anonymous said...

gov auction -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov records -
herbal hair solution -
homebre ware -
home job group -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
inteli gator -
joanas world -
joyful tomato -
kidney stone remedy -
learn digital photography now -
learn elements now -
linden method -
lose man boobs -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
niche adsense themes -
ninety day powerseller -
pc optimizer pro -
pregnancy miracle -
pregnancy without pounds -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
quit smoking today -
reg genie -
registry easy -

Anonymous said...

registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
seo elite -
spyware cease -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
stock assault -
talking to toddlers -
the action machine -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbo cash generator -
turbulence training -
twitter online system -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
water 4 gas -
wedding speech 4u -

Anonymous said...

wp goldmine -
wrap candy -
xsite pro -
zygor guides -
37 days to clean credit -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate prophet -
affiliate video brander -
anti spyware -
art of approaching -
atomic blogging -
auction classified cash -
automated cash formula -
bbq book -
bloggers pay check -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
chopper tattoo -
cleanup the profits -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
commission blueprint -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for bruxism -
declutter fast -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -

Anonymous said...

easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex ambush -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
instant article wizard -
jamo rama -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
maverick money makers -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
natural cancer treatments -
niche review templates -
nyhms warcraft guides -

Anonymous said...

pappa pc -
pc booster -
pc optimizer pro -
pc secret formula -
pda flix -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button ecover -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
silent sales machine -
silver lotto -
spyware cease -
super affiliate handbook -
the 11 forgotten laws -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -

Anonymous said...

top secret fat loss secret -
turbulence training -
twitter rockstar -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warcraft millionaire -
warcraft wealth -
warp speed fat loss -
webcomp analyst -
wedding speech 4u -
win back love -
your software website -
zox pro -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate elite -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article bully -
art of approaching -
auto pilot profits -
bbq book -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -

Anonymous said...

chopper tattoo -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for tinnitus -
debt free in three -
driver checker -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto money -
forex auto pilot -
forex confidante -
game tester guide -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
higher faster sports -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -

Anonymous said...

home made energy -
i am big brother -
instant profit machine -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
magic of making up -
make money taking surveys -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my airfare secrets -
my miracle loans -
my out of control teen -
natural cancer treatments -
ovarian cyst cures -
pc optimizer pro -
piano for all -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
pvp bible -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -

Anonymous said...

registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reg tool -
relationship headquarters -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
satellite tv pc master -
secrets book -
spy no more -
spyware cease -
survey scout -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the guru assassin -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
turbulence training -
two minute profits -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
web traffic machines -
wedding speech 4u -
wind plans -
xp repair pro -
your fun business -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -

Anonymous said...

acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish tinnitus -
beat eczema -
blood pressure normalized -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cpa arbitrage -
creative date ideas -
debt free in three -
digital background -
dirty talking guide -
discus fish secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dw insider -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy tv soft -
easy web video -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
error doctor -
evidence smart -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -

Anonymous said...

firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto pilot -
gain opinion -
gold secrets -
government records -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
green diy energy -
healthy urban kitchen -
highest pay surveys -
holo think -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
keyword elite -
learn photoshop videos -
lmt forex formula -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my list strategy -
my phone riches -

penis enlargement said...

Good post and this post helped me allot in my college assignments. Thank you seeking your information.
penis enlargement, penis enlargement pills, penis enlargement methods

Anonymous said...

Best prise for hard dick pills cozaar
[url=http://buycozaar.groupsite.com]Buy Cozaar [/url] buy cozaar in united kingdom generics mexico cozaar how good is generic indian cozaar [url=http://my.opera.com/BuyCozaar/blog/2010/08/03/buy-cozaar-online-buy-cheap-losartan-25-50-100mg-0-69-per-pill]Buy Cozaar Online[/url] generic cozaar 25mg buy cozaar for cheap online generic cozaar overnight [url=http://my.speedtv.com/buycozaaronline]buy buy cozaar without prescription
[/url] cozaar cozaar online buy cozaar cheapest cozaar price usa pharmacies buy cozaar mexico cheapest cozaar online plus zenegra
canadian prices for cozaar selling generic cozaar online home business buy cozaar legally generic cozaar discussion forum
buying cheap cozaar pill generic cozaar year generic cozaar indian cozaar generic ordering good service
http://buycozaar.groupsite.com buy cozaar on the internet buy cozaar in great britain cheap cozaar prices http://my.opera.com/BuyCozaar/blog/2010/08/03/buy-cozaar-online-buy-cheap-losartan-25-50-100mg-0-69-per-pill cozaar pills beijing rate generic cozaar cheap effective alternative cozaar http://my.speedtv.com/buycozaaronline buy sublingual cozaar on the internet price for cozaar buy cozaar without a perscription

Anonymous said...

Order Cipro Online no Prescription [url=http://buyciproonline.groupsite.com]Buy Cipro Online[/url] compare prices Cipro generic 100mg cheapest place to buy Cipro online Buy Cipro Online No Prescription 100mg cipro xr cheap Cipro online prescription http://buyciproonline.groupsite.com bombas de mantenimiento reciprocantes better pills than Cipro [url=http://Ciprohalflifewiki.groupsite.com
]cheap order prescription Cipro
[/url] Cipro prescription buy in canada buy Cipro best retail pharmacy Cipro price
nhs prices Cipro uk in 2007 Cipro cut pills in half http://Ciprocolors.groupsite.com
reply Cipro buy can

Anonymous said...

California auto insurance quotes and information at http://california-autoinsurance.com.

Vimax Penis Enlargement Pills said...

Nice articles, thanks for sharing information .
I want to share a little information about the penis enlargement products by PillsExpert

Vimax is the best penis enlargement pills are made from natural materials, enhance male sexual performance, making the penis thicker and lenght, and helps men achieve erections are stronger and more durable and with no side effects. 98% of men admitted to the benefits after using the Vimax pills can last a long time to have sex, increasing the thickness of the penis, and increase the length of your penis up to 3 -4 inches and it is permanent.

http://www.vimaxofficialwebsite.com