Monthly Archives: July 2008

The Worst “Blind Pews” of U.S. Newspapers, PT II

You might think that as you move down the list of large American newspapers, away from the tradition-laden (tradition-handicapped?) major metros of the east and west coasts (and, OK, Chicago), that you might find a greater connection between a newspaper and its community (e.g., more local bloggers and vloggers on the papers’ websites).

After all, among the 19 largest circulation metro dailies, we only found seven papers that welcomed bloggers — Denver, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Cleveland (hmmm, no east or west coast papers among that group….). It HAD to get better, right?


Sad to say, local bloggers are no more likely to be integrated into daily newspaper websites as you move down to papers below 400,000 circulation.

Of the next 15 largest metro newspapers (numbers 20-34), only five integrate local bloggers (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Portland Oregonian, Indianapolis Star, Orlando Sentinel and San Antonio Express-News).

So, as editors wave goodbye to more and more laid-off, right-sized, bought-out staffers, those editors remain as incapable as “Blind Pew” of seeing the rich content being created all around them. As the old proverb goes, “God protects fools, children and drunkards,” but probably not purblind editors and the newspapers they work for.

Of the top circulation newspapers in the U.S., these are numbers 11-20 that have chosen to ignore the existence of top-quality bloggers in their midst. (See my Top Ten list here.)
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THE BLIND PEWS: The Top 10 Most Purblind Papers

Blind Pew from It’s time to be name names.

Too many big, ordinarily smart newspapers still refuse to involve high-quality local bloggers and vloggers on their websites and in the pages of their paper in any significant way beyond a lame, well-hidden, token local blogger index page (if that).

Now the thieves are at the door, about to make off with the family jewels (audience and advertising) and newspapers are leaving the doors unlocked and the valuables in plain sight.

Arianna Huffington’s announcement last week that she will be launching 12 local Huffington Posts with aggregated news and local bloggers is only the tip of the iceberg, the flashiest fox in the henhouse. The chairman of the board of one of the top U.S. dailies told me last week that he is seeing a lot of other crafty characters coming into his market looking to steal market share in exactly the same way, and he’s finally ready to act.

It’s time for editors to drop their tired excuses: “Bloggers aren’t journalists,” and “they’re just loonies in jammies,” and “my paper’s reputation will be sullied” (hey, guys, YOU choose which ones to publish!).

Pull in the best local bloggers and vloggers now or lose them and the thousands of folks who follow them, going where they can find the best local content and communities of shared interests.

So, in the spirit of your mom’s classic “I’m only going to tell you once more” warning, here’s a whack upside the head for what I’m calling: