Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
The Media The Internet

Internet Kills LA Times National Edition 245

Doc Ruby writes "The LA Times announced that it is folding its national edition on 12/31/04. The Times spokesperson said the paper's mission has been to reach 'key Washington, D.C., and New York audiences,' and that 'other electronic ways of reaching those audiences became more plentiful.' The folding edition will be replaced by "remote printing" by NewspaperDirect, and their email highlights, Top of the Times. Is this the way all our newspapers will be going?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Internet Kills LA Times National Edition

Comments Filter:
  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spac3manspiff ( 839454 ) <spac3manspiff@gmail.com> on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:00PM (#11061283) Journal
    Is this the way all our newspapers will be going?"

    No, they're just targeting the wrong audience.
    • Its doubtful that all papers will be going this route, there is still profit to be made. As much as I read news online, you cannot beat a real newspaper simply because you read it on the fly. Only until more people own laptops and/or PDA's will we notice a significant overhaul of newspaper companies I think.
      • Re:No (Score:2, Funny)

        by Ralph Yarro ( 704772 )
        you cannot beat a real newspaper simply because you read it on the fly.

        True. Then again, sometimes it's hard to read a real news paper because you've beaten it on a fly. Still very handy to have though.
      • Oh please. Most government heads and corporate execs are in the age of 40 to 55. This is not a generation that grew up with hi-tech toys and Internet. If anything they fear the 20 year old tech elite's today. Wait another decade and issues like "reading on paper" or "banning video games" will all fall off the plate.

      • I believe there will always be a place for newspapers. They have a remarkable tendency to stay afloat even in the fiercest competition from more "exciting" and "modern" mediums. Take the saga [pacifichistory.net] of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin [wikipedia.org], which went from an abrupt 45-day notice of closure [starbulletin.com] to its own offices and press.

        I won't be counting out the Times until they actually close. Granted, the Star-Bulletin and Times stories are radically different, but I wouldn't be too surprised if something happened at the last minut

  • first post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by agraupe ( 769778 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:00PM (#11061287) Journal
    why does it matter that an LA paper gets to New York audiences in paper form? Furthermore, if you were in NY or DC, why would you buy the LA Times? What news do that have that local papers don't? (Surely there must be papers with both slants locally).
    • because most papers cover more than just local news and more viewpoint from more papers means you get more balanced news overall. I routinely read papers from all over the world though I live in NY. I do thisw online these days, but back when this paper was founded online wasnt a big thing, if at all.
      not to mention, what if you have family or business contacts or friends in LA but live in DC or NY, maybe you'd be concerned about the news eh?
      • The Internet will replace all print media anyway. I don't understand people that still pay for a daily paper. It's just a massive waste of money when you can get the same information, even more actually, online on the web and it's updated within minutes vs. waiting around until the next day for your "news". If I had to rely on the newspaper to learn about the attacks on 9/11 I would've been clueless until 7am the following morning. With TV and the Internet I knew about it as the planes were hitting the
        • I think weekly/weekend papers will stay for the same reason the books will stay.
          • I think weekly/weekend papers will stay for the same reason the books will stay.

            Nah. I can even get the Fry's ads with the online version, and I don't have to sift through all the other ads that are stuffed into the paper version.

            Newspapers are mostly ephemeral- you want the current information and as current as possible. It's easier to keep up to the minute online, and if you're interested in the archival value of newpapers, online is easier to search.
            • Nah. I can even get the Fry's ads with the online version, and I don't have to sift through all the other ads that are stuffed into the paper version.

              Newspapers are mostly ephemeral- you want the current information and as current as possible. It's easier to keep up to the minute online, and if you're interested in the archival value of newspapers, online is easier to search.


              Yeah, that's all true. Still, I think you're missing the grandparent poster's point all the same. There are times when I don't ca
              • There are times when I don't care about searching online or skipping ads. Times when you just want something to look at. A prop. Something to pass the time.

                Yeah, that's about the only thing I use them for anymore, but it's usually one of the free alt-weeklies, rather than an LA times or something that would require me to find some quarters in my pocket. If I know that I'm going to have to kill some time (or have a high probability) I'd usually rather carry a book in my pocket. When I used to ride th
                • Glad we can find some common ground here. (What? Civility on Slashdot? Is this possible?)

                  Its usually one of the free alt-weeklies, rather than an LA times or something that would require me to find some quarters in my pocket

                  The problem with these, of course, is that they are weekly. If you find yourself killing time on a regular basis, you'll probably have the darn thing memorized the day after it comes out. Daily papers at least have new content each morning. Whether in a coffee shop or on the bu
        • It's just a massive waste of money when you can get the same information, even more actually, online on the web and it's updated within minutes vs. waiting around until the next day for your "news".

          Not having constant updates is a plus for those who don't wan't to spend their whole day reloading sites like slashdot for fear of missing something.

          If I had to rely on the newspaper to learn about the attacks on 9/11 I would've been clueless until 7am the following morning.

          Maybe if you lived in the middle
        • Clearly, you live in the suburbs.

          Newspapers are great for commuting. I can stand and read the newspaper on the subway. It isn't so easy with a laptop, and a PDA is just annoying to use with such a small screen.

          Interestingly, with 9/11, TV was a useless source of information for us in New York, since the WTC was where most TV antennas were based. The local newspapers however worked triple time to get the papers out the door as quickly as possible.

          They were equally quick with the Blackout in Septemer, 20
          • You're right about commuting, I live in NY too and a paper copy of anything is better for reading on the subway. However, I usually get my news online and read a book when I'm on the train.
    • I guess people in NY don't get enough scandel so they need something from Hollywook. An actress has put on 2lb. Wow!!!

      Rus
    • Re:first post (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ralph Yarro ( 704772 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:49PM (#11061625) Homepage
      (Surely there must be papers with both slants locally).

      BOTH? Is the world limited to two viewpoints now?
      • Re:first post (Score:4, Interesting)

        by GileadGreene ( 539584 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @03:45PM (#11061984) Homepage
        BOTH? Is the world limited to two viewpoints now?

        No. Just the US. Fisher's Deduction: "The more issues a person crudely shoehorns down into a liberal/conservative dichotomy, the more certain you can be that the person is an American"

    • Both slants? WTF? How is this +5, Insightful?
  • by mat catastrophe ( 105256 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:01PM (#11061299) Homepage
    Egon told us 20 years ago that print was dead.
  • by softspokenrevolution ( 644206 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:02PM (#11061308) Journal
    It can't possibly be that we already have enough newspapers on the East Coast?

    The internet is probably a good thing for newspapers, I doubt that it will become the be all, end all (though reading a broad sheet on the subway/train/bus is a bit of a pain). It's a great way to deliver content, to kep people apprised of things up to the minute, and it keeps our newsstands from being crowded.
  • Makes sense (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anubis350 ( 772791 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:04PM (#11061324)
    this makes a great deal of sense. Online news is a much better way of getting news and as it catches paper newspapers become less read. I get almost all my news online right now, its quiker, there's more news out there, its more current, and its easier to navigate.
    just my $0.02
    • And so much easier to read on the commute to and from work too. Oh, wait, that would be a paper newspaper...

      I agree that online news has many advantages, but don't discount the familiarity and portability of more traditional outlets. TV news channels didn't kill newspapers, radio news didn't kill newspapers, I doubt that the Internet will either, at least until 'net-enabled portables are ubiquitous, cheap and fast.
    • The key point for me is that you get updated news constantly. I mean, the newspapers report what happened yesterday (more or less), online, you get what happened today and what is happening. Also, there's just as much ads in a paper version as an online version.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:09PM (#11061361)
    Slashdot reported today it will start a print edition.
  • Electronic Paper (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rf0 ( 159958 ) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:11PM (#11061378) Homepage
    What we really need is a nice method where all your news is synced to your PDA automatically every morning so you can read it on the way to work. However as much as I like electronic media you can't beat a real news paper sitting in the sunshine or in front of the fire

    Rus
    • One of the ideas behind the Semantic Web is an integration like that. here's [w3.org] an interesting paper from Tim Berners-Lee on the idea behind it.
    • AvantGo [avantgo.com] has been around for quite a few years now, and seems to be what you're describing. I didn't find it overly useful on my Nokia 3650, since I could just fire up Opera for Series 60 and head directly to the BBC News's low-graphics [bbc.co.uk] HTML site (or the WAP version if I was in a masochistic mood), but it seems to be the ticket for devices without network capability.
    • About a month ago I started using AvantGo [avantgo.com] on my Palm (Sony Clie, actually) for my 45 minute commute to work.

      Syncs with New York Times Top Stories, Business, and Technology news. I also have it syncing with Reuters, which actually gives a better column at times. The coverage is more complete, at least.

      Those two channels pretty much fill up my commute. I also have C|Net and a couple of others. More than enough news for most any commute.

      It is not perfect, but it is free and it works.

      Between that program, V [vindigo.com]
    • However as much as I like electronic media you can't beat a real news paper sitting in the sunshine or in front of the fire

      Well, seeing how I don't have a fireplace, I'd much prefer the electronic one.
  • Internet kills music industry Internet kills the movie industry Internet kills phone dating services Internet kills libraries Internet kills puppies, just the cute ones
  • by nathan s ( 719490 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:14PM (#11061406) Homepage
    I know I fall into the demographic that reads news nearly exclusively online, but I think this is just going to increase as paper-readers age and kids watch their parents (my generation) reading it online.

    Frankly, papers are unwieldy; I'm always getting them out of order or tearing them, not to mention that they store germs quite well (so I hear) - no picking those up on the subway for me!

    I think the biggest paper-killer, though, is that by the time the news is printed and in your hands, it's out of date. For local news where not much happens (or if it does, everyone immediately knows), a paper might still work - but for national/international news, it just lacks the immediacy of online news sources.
    • But what about the other things you get with the paper. Crosswords, TV listings which you can browse at your lesiure. From a news point of view I take you point and agree but some of the other things papers give does really make them worth while. I don't thinkl we will be seeing the back of print media for a while

      Rus
    • I generally keep up-to-date with online news sources, but nearly every time I travel by train I buy a newspaper to read on the train. You can read a paper newspaper while going through a tunnel. I'd go so far as to say that as long as commuting by train remains popular (as it is in the UK, at least: I know plenty of people who commute 50 miles to London each day by train) and most people don't have a laptop with a cheap mobile phone Internet connection there will be a market for hard-copy newspapers.
    • it just lacks the immediacy of online news sources.

      IMO this is part of the reason so much online news and TV news sucks. There is immediacy, but no depth. News agencies fall over each other to get the scoop on a story, but when I live in California is it *really* worth knowing that scant details about some breaking story from Lithuania at 10:13 am when a much more detailed and informative story will be showing up in the NYT or the Post a few hours later?

      I'd rather absorb news from a source that is check

  • by glennrrr ( 592457 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:19PM (#11061437)
    Let's look at the newspapers which are making a go of it with nationwide printings: USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and the NY Times.

    USA Today - Marketed at travelers who might be interested in a snippet of hometown news. The McDonalds of newspapers.

    The Wall Street Journal - Business oriented coverage with a solid conservative editorial page. The newspaper for Republican men.

    The New York Times - Amazingly diverse coverage and in depth coverage, with excellent coverage of the Arts and a predictably liberal editorial page. The newspaper for literate urbanites.

    The LA Time could have looked for another niche, but they basically are a poor clone of the New York Times. I used to read it quite often when I worked in LA and there is nothing about it that would recommend it over the other Times. Their whole market would be lonesome Southern Californians wanting to keep up with the music scene in Santa Monica.

    It'd be nice if another newspaper could challenge the WSJ or the NYT for nationwide coverage. The Chicago Tribune and Washington Post have the potential to do so; I think the Post has the best liberal editorial page in the country, and the Trib is just a solid paper, but there is only so many people in the market for national papers.

  • Blame the Internet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:19PM (#11061439) Homepage Journal
    Seems to be a rather popular scapegoat for companies with poor ( or outdated ) business models these days.
  • by BTWR ( 540147 ) <americangibor3.yahoo@com> on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:23PM (#11061470) Homepage Journal
    First off (and I'll say it again...) - this is NOT a political flamewar/troll post...

    But did it seem to anyone else that the L.A. Times in the past year or two had gotten WAY too opinionated in their HARD NEWS stories? I mean, I read the LA times occationally, but it seemed somewhere around a year after 9/11 it became VIOLENTLY anti-Bush/anti-republican. I mean, ALL media sources have bias. Here in NY, we have the amazing NY Times. And yes, it has an "opinion" on world politics. Despite what conservative radio says though, I felt that the NY Times still kept it's job of presenting the news in a fair way. The opinion/Op-Ed pages of the NY Times rightfully had opinions (and twice a week has "conservative" writers), so I felt there was fairness there.

    But... take a crappy (although sometimes guilty pleasure) newspaper like the NY Post. It's a tabloid newspaper that 4/7 times a week the front page headline will be "OH NO PARIS HILTON (did whatever)" or this week, despite all the news in the world, the #1 story that took the entire front page cover was some guy buying a $10,000 martini (i kid you not). (I always assumed "The Daily Beagle" from Spiderman was based on the Post)

    Again... this is NOT a political flamewar/troll post... and I like listening to talkradio, but if I listen to Air America or Hannity, I know what I'm getting. They'll focus on the topics of "their" side. But... I don't want that when I read hard news. Luckily, the NY Times doesn't do that. A typical page 1 lately has the #1 story of the day, something about Iraq, some economy/employment article, a local (NY) story, and big international news. Perhaps a blurb/picture about a big sports event. While they will often have stories showing porblems in the Iraq war - hey, problems exist. But they also recently had a story of how women are regaining power in Iraq and schools are being rapidly built (sounds fair to me).

    But the LA Times seemed like the NY Post at times. Did anyone else notice during the recall election there was a story about Arnold, and it was negative EVERY DAY? I mean, come on.

    For disclosure, I voted Kerry and I voted Gore in 2000. I watch opinion shows for their opinions. When I read about hard news, I want the news, not spin (with the exception of the Op-Ed page). Perhaps (i'm seriously asking here, not flaming), is this why their publication numbers fell? Comments? Once again, and finally, this is NOT a political flamewar/troll post. Just my opinion.

    • But did it seem to anyone else that the L.A. Times in the past year or two had gotten WAY too opinionated in their HARD NEWS stories? I mean, I read the LA times occationally, but it seemed somewhere around a year after 9/11 it became VIOLENTLY anti-Bush/anti-republican.

      Nah, it's been a liberal democrat rag for decades. My dad complained about it every morning back in the 70's. Its chosen audience is smug urban democrats who like government programs. The righties hate the LA Times because it's too far lef

    • The LA Times is no more "biased" than any other paper like it (NYT, Chicago Trib, etc.). Its problem is not bias; its problem is that it's just not a very good paper as far as real news is concerned.

      Your examples of bias don't wash. There were negative stories about Arnold during the recall because the story of the democratic process being hijacked by an action movie star who refused to even discuss his political positions publicly was big news! The groping scandal was stupid, but the stories were true

    • Maybe they became anti-Bush when Bush demontrated to everyone willing to notice how incredibly inept he is? You can't fault someone for doing that, can you? It's called learning from facts. The paper (and most of the world) saw what Bush was doing, and their opinion of him changed. Expecting media to have a consistent view of a person or entity is ridiculous, and would go a long way to explaining the hopeless state of money-driven 'journalism' in the US...
  • Sloppy Headline (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:23PM (#11061474) Homepage Journal
    It's not as simple as "the Internet killed the edition." They tried to introduce a new paper to an already-crowded market and failed. Hardly suprising, with or without the Internet. The only role the Internet plays here is to provide a cheap delivery alternative. The existance of that alternative might have played a role in the Times' decision, but certainly not a crucial one.

    Online newspapers are not a big success story. They cost a lot more to run (on a per-reader basis) than print editions, and they don't generate a lot of ad revenue. They're not going to replace print editions any time soon.

  • Well, let's see. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by artifex2004 ( 766107 )
    How many years ago was USA TODAY started?
    Didn't it begin with the express business model of having personalized regional editions, with most of the stories being sent via satellite?

    The clock's been ticking for a long time. Only the medium has changed.

    • > How many years ago was USA TODAY started?

      USA Today was founded in 1982 by Al Neuharth, chairman of Gannett, which previously was known as publisher of a vast number of undistinguished small newspapers.

      In the first year or so most of the staff was "on loan" from Gannett papers around the country, and many even lived in a Gannett dormitory in suburban Washington.

      > Didn't it begin with the express business model of having personalized regional editions, with most of the stories being sent via satell
  • Is this the way all our newspapers will be going?

    While there are some people who live on the Internet, there are many others who enjoy reading a book or newspaper. Newspapers are not going away.

    • This is more "stupid contrarianism" as is often evidenced on /.

      In two decades this entire industry will be gone. Not one paper, the entire industry. And yes, by that time you will be able to view digital content at paper resolutions.

      Why do people love papers so much anyway? Most just get stock AP and Reuters content and repackage it...there is a huge amount if repeated content.

      Mostly they have become transport mechanisms for huge multipage ads.

  • RSS feeds served to my inbox, News search engine (like google news), tons of free contents... honestly, I don't see how a 'paper' only can compete on a large scale basis. Sure, for local content its still a perfect solution (especially for small towns, etc). But aside from the ability to be read while in the bus (or in the bathroom I guess), it has no chance vs the Internet.

    Internet killed the newspaper star? Maybe not, but crippled seriously, that's a sure thing.
  • by waldoj ( 8229 ) <waldo AT jaquith DOT org> on Saturday December 11, 2004 @02:33PM (#11061548) Homepage Journal
    A few weeks ago, Adam Penenberg's Media Hack column addressed the matter of Internet-based delivery cutting into the newspaper business (" Newspapers Should Really Worry [wired.com] "). My favorite bit:
    "Imagine what higher-ups at the
    Post must have thought when focus-group participants declared they wouldn't accept a Washington Post subscription even if it were free. The main reason (and I'm not making this up): They didn't like the idea of old newspapers piling up in their houses."
    Anyhow, it's an interesting read, and not just because I'm quoted in it. ;)

    -Waldo Jaquith
  • Web subscriptions or free through advertisements and newstands/vending machine print on demand is the future. This should be adopted by the major papers soon because I would really hate to see them go out of business as a newspaper is still the most reliable major media news by far over television and radio. TV and radio have way too much pressure to constantly have something to say so they make stuff up when it suits them. (remember when they were saying that 25 people died at in the columbine shooting whe
  • The only reason to read a newspaper is read the columnists and local sports, and those you can get online.

    The actual news is Associated Press anyway (look at the bylines) and so often the same story just gets repeated. Those same feeds are also picked up by the TV syndicates, and they are doing a great job on the web. For real news, Fox, CNN, MSNBC web sites are just killing print. If I want diversity, I can check out the web sites for anything from Al Jazeera to the Wall Street Journal. The automotive
  • by goon america ( 536413 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @03:17PM (#11061814) Homepage Journal
    yadda, yadda, yadda. Video killed the radio star, the internet killed the video star, the sub-etha net will kill the internet star and soon the government brain implants will kill that. Wake me when the paradigm has shifted again.
  • Cars killed horses. Phone killed the telegraph. TV killed the radio star.

    The jobs haven't been lost, they just moved to another market. Should we stop progress just because it creates products that replace others?

    Cheers,
    Adolfo

  • Motorized vehicles (horseless carriages) kill the horse and buggy industry! Story continues on page A5.
  • LA Times announced that it is folding its national edition

    Folding it, eh? I wonder if they'll enter it in the national origami championships?
  • by Our Man In Redmond ( 63094 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @04:08PM (#11062081)
    I can't find it on the web to verify it, but I believe it was newspaper icon H. L. Mencken, some seventy years ago, who said, "I asked the bellhop to bring me a newspaper. The poor fellow must have been deaf, as he brought me a copy of the Los Angeles Times."
  • You know, its funny, I don't seem to recall the NY Times having this problem. Perhaps this publication simply needs to take another look at the quality of their content?

  • The Times spokesperson said the paper's mission has been to reach 'key Washington, D.C., and New York audiences,'


    Sure.

    The LA "International" Times merely wanted to exert "progressive" influence on the United Nations and the US Federal Government. They couldn't tilt the playing field they way they wanted because there were too many others using blogging, forums, and email to present alternate views and news that nullified the LA "International" Times world view.

  • The entire notion of a "national edition" newspaper is silly one. Even the so-called "newspaper of record" -- the New York Times barely sells outside of New York. People don't want to read newspapers from far-off cities that don't cover events of interest to them.

    Can you give me a good reason why someone in New York or Washington, D.C. would be interested in the Los Angeles Times? And if you can, are there enough people in those two cities who want to read that paper and is the coverage that good they would

    • Complete agreement. Oddly, people in some metro areas seem to grasp this concept better than those in other areas. At least, that's my (limited) experience.

      I wouldn't expect anybody outside California to read or even care about the SF Chronicle, however great it is. Yet more than one friend from the DC area has reacted with condescending shock when informed that we don't read the Washington Post. (I've read it; it had the same basic stuff as the Chronicle, just with a DC slant rather than a SF one. It
  • As mentioned elsewhere, the LA Times doesn't have national appeal and it's in a market with heavy competition. The management is probably transferring blame to the Internet in order to save face, but restricting distribution seems to me to be a prudent move on their part.

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.

Working...