“Much like the library websites described by Brenda Battleson in her 2000 case study, ‘Usability testing of an academic library web site,’ major newspaper websites are evolving into information gateways.”
It occurred to me reading this that many of us in the business are so far behind in our thinking on this. One thing that a newspaper like mine can do well online is provide a repository of specifically localinformation — not just old news stories and photos, but also documents and records — that’s available nowhere else, except maybe at local libraries. A newspaper’s archive could be an invaluable research tool and (more importantly) it would nicely complement the main product — allowing readers to look at original or historical documents as they read the latest about their communities.
Of course, this would cost money. But so did color printing, but we all did it because those were the times we were in.
We bitch and moan about how hard it is to compete these days, but I really don’t see a lot of us out there really taking advantage of the possibilities.