Triad Newspapers Losing the Battle with TV Competitors Online

The lede for this months-old article on NetNewsCheck says it all:

Greensboro is one of those rare places where the local newspaper site doesn’t lead; in fact, the News & Record’s news-record.com trails all three TV news sites in this media market of 1.8 million, according to comScore.

This won't come as a surprise to anyone paying attention, and if you want to know how long the News & Records digital presence has been an issue all you have to do is check out Ed Cone's or Roch's sites and search "news & record."

In fact Ed's quoted in the story:

To Ed Cone, a local journalist and the blogger behindedcone.com, the paper is getting its just desserts. “They gutted their website,” he said, criticizing news-record.com’s new content strategy. “Why would anybody go to their website?”

Really the N&R's site is a story of lost opportunity and it's a shame, because newspapers really had a natural early advantage in the online news market when it was still largely text based. Unfortunately they missed that opportunity and as the action moves to multimedia and mobile apps they'll be playing a very tough game of catchup with the digital properties that have TV DNA and are accustomed to telling stories in short, multimedia bursts.

The article really is a good read, not so much because of the disection of the N&R's ill-fated digital strategy, but because it takes a look at the explosion of mobile users and the trend towards video/multimedia delivery of the news. 

Last note – the article doesn't mention the Winston-Salem Journal or High Point Enterprise, but I suspect the news is even worse for them.  A quick search of the Alexa rankings of the Journal, the Enterprise and the News & Record shows that the N&R's ranking is higher than the Journal's and the Enterprise barely makes a blip (i.e. its ranking is terrible). Really none of the papers' online efforts appear to be holding up well in their competition with the TV sites, and unless something changes soon that situation is likely going to get worse.

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