I want to keep this blog going, despite the demands of the new job I just took in Sacramento.  And there’s been a lot happening in our business since I last wrote here.

   First, I was excited to hear that the Grand Rapids’ Knight Foundation project has a name – The Rapidian – and will launch in August!  For more information or to keep tabs, click here to see the project’s Facebook page.   If anyone knows of a strong Northern California community journalism project or group, comment here or e-mail me at tgeraghty@news10.net.

   iPhone can now shoot video and my former EP, Adrienne Roark, and her Miami newsroom at CBS 4 shot a story on the phone about lines for the phone.  I know stations have shot parts of or whole stories on Flip cameras (BTW, I am going to start shooting short videos for this site with my new Flip, thanks to the best 4 teenage girls I know!)

   And Steve Brill is leading a group that will soon start a website that will work with publishers to start a paid web model.  I know from first-hand knowledge we in the media are not making what we should from our web sites.  But I am also still not convinced people will pay unless it is truly unique content and not even the Wall Street Journal is making it work totally as a paid model.

   We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

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I am reading more and more articles these days about what the depressed state of newspapers will or won’t do for television.  This article, from Broadcasting and Cable, shows what a few TV stations are doing to try to take some of the money newspapers are losing.

Then there is this article from Variety.  It focuses on the Los Angeles TV market to show how stations have had to make some drastic cuts to deal with our new budget realities.  The writer also tied into his article what the end of newspapers will do to TV stations.  Here’s one of the lines:

“‘Rip and read’ has long been employed to fill out newscasts, using local papers as tip sheets and unpaid newswriters.”

I have worked at 6 different TV stations.  It’s been true that newspapers often have stories TV newsrooms do not, largely because newsroom reporting staffs used to dwarf TV newsrooms.  BUT, it is also true, that TV newsrooms also break a lot of big stories that, frankly, most newspapers ignore for some reason.  Newspapers do not always set the news agenda in a community.  And I’m not sure what he means by unpaid newswriters; we confirm our own information and write our own stories.  I’ll be the first to admit we do not have every story first in West Michigan.  If someone else breaks it and it’s important to our customers, we’ll either get it confirmed or, if we can’t, quote the news source it came from.

I needed to set Variety’s report straight.  And I quoted them.