The Cleveland Plain Dealer debuted a new format, this morning. The paper is combining sections and eliminating pages in an effort to reduce costs and adapt to the changing information needs of its readers. It's part of a nationwide trend in the newspaper business which has been profoundly affected by the internet. ideastream®'s David C. Barnett has more.
The paper first announced the changes over the weekend, unveiling the cuts amidst a series of testimonials from readers, reporters and advertisers. The trade publication Editor & Publisher reports that as many as 32 pages will be cut each week, which includes the alteration or elimination of four regular sections. Kent State Journalism professor Barbara Hipsman Springer says on-line access has changed the way people get their information.
BARBARA HIPSMAN SPRINGER: I teach journalists --- young journalists who are coming through the ranks --- and they intuitively think "I'm going to be a newspaper journalist or a magazine journalist." And we keep beating them with, "No, you're going to have information. You're going to have knowledge, and you're sort of managing knowledge."
She adds that the recently announced consolidation of the alternative weeklies Free Times and The Scene further reflects a new era of knowledge management, where web-sites such as "Craig's List" have decimated classified ad revenues that many print publications have relied upon for years.