An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
I anticipate USA Today blowing something badly either online or in print tonight. My guess is they will lag behind, like they always do lately. I will even go out on a limb and predict a fairly big factual error or two. Why? Because USAT isn't equipped to to handle big, fast-moving stories anymore. There isn't enough qualified people there. Fewer checks and balances. It will be on the shoulders of a watered down staff to avoid embarrassing errors.However, the Crystal Palace spin tomorrow will be how great USAT did covering the election. Execs and mid-managers frightened to death of losing their jobs will trumpet how much traffic the website got and how many papers were sold.You know what... You didn't build that.That's right current USAT leaders. You are living off of the reputation built by others who came before you -- you know, the people you take every opportunity to mock. And by "before," I don't mean Paulson or Moon or those relatively recent clowns. I mean the people who really took pride in USAT and have the scars to prove it.Yes, readers still turn to this national brand on big news days, but that 's not because of the damn blue ball or any other "bright" ideas that have come up in the last few years. Readers still come to USAT because it had credibility for years and they haven't quite yet detected how the quality has slipped. Folks knew USAT was a must-read, and a fair, well-edited, innovative publication. They are only now beginning to see that maybe this isn't the best news brand out there.So before y'all start patting yourselves on the back and think that all the crap that's gone on at the nation's newspaper has paid off, remember, you didn't build that. In fact, you've done almost everything possible to dismantle it.Let's see where USAT's numbers are in the next presidential election. That will be more of an indication of whether this brand is on the right track. My guess is that talent will continue to flee the building and that recruiting top-shelf people will get harder. I see the current crop of incompetents kissing more ass than ever in order to stay employed. Bad hires and promotions will continue. In time, all of this will rot the integrity of the product and people sitting on the Gannett board will wonder what went wrong with the jewel of the company, even though the warning signs have been there for at least the last five years.
You mean you dont believe the wet behind the ears whiz kids running digital and the third and fourth string editors running Usa Today know what they are doing? They will never, ever, ever admit that.The back patting memos are already written, pal.
Boy some real bitter USATers posting today. Best jobs in the country and they whine. Hasn't the NYT begged you to join them??? Crickets
If there is a huge meltdown at USA TODAY, it will entirely be the fault of this Presto Web publishing system that's been hung around our necks. Maybe that's what it will take for the higher-ups to realize that the thing doesn't work worth a damn -- the biggest story of the year disappearing in Presto and we can't retrieve it (it's happened too many times to count already). Beyond the technical problems, which are HUGE, Presto has completely shredded anything resembling a coherent workflow. I honestly don't understand why Presto isn't a constant topic of discussion here every day.
We have been told by Dave C. that he wants us to be like AP. Bland, generic, interchangeable, concise to the point of why bother to write the story when we can just run a headline and three poorly-written hightlights? Any in-depth reporting is being discouraged by those editors whose interests lie beyond the print edition.
When was the last time Callaway spent time focusing on the management structure of print or digital? Actually, has he spent ANY time on it? Does he know how few are hands on or capable? his philosophy of publishing three or four paragraph stories seems the antithesis of what a thoughtful, interest minded news organization should be about. We arent a financially oriented website focused on the financial markets, ala Marketwatch. And frankly, we are not staffed with people capable of churning out even short stories on demand and constantly updating them. This crew is still slow, print minded and lazy. Building a phony hub in the newsroom is just smoke and mirrors baloney. How about building a true 24/7 news organization that goes beyond lip service?
Presto. Newsgate. CCI. It doesnt matter. These systems were not designed for working journalists or even anyone who spends much time in newsrooms. They are horrible in many, many ways. Presto is the worst of the lot. When anyone can access copy at any tiime (reporter, editor, copy desk, digital type) and no one knows who is doing what,It is a recipe for disaster. Of course, whomever is responsible will probably be rewarded with a promotion and President's Ring.
3:26 copy editir's helped design Presto. You have NO clue what you are talking about. But don't let that stop you
The USAT brand is now just the USAT bland
O ye of little faith.
Very bland coverage and stories,so far. Usa Today once again an also ran. .good thing the election is just once every 4 years. Political team is a joke.
The Hub will make things much better.
The Hub? A fucking joke.
And when was USAT ever a vibrant, "good read"? I admit that it was better then than now. But let's face it: It was always a newspaper where tone deaf editors and uninspired, voiceless writing thrived.
Nice post, 8:29. No wonder Presto is a disaster. A copy editor helped design it. And has three typos in a two sentence post.THAT explains it. BRILLIANT.
Has NewsGate crashed yet? I accidentally turned my phone off so I can't be told to bring in my typewriter.
It looks like my local paper kept one person on staff to cover the election. Well maybe half a person. They did provide a link to the USAToday page. It looks like USAToday kept two or three on the payroll and maybe a few graphics people. NYtimes, NBC, CNN, WPost actually covered this thing. This is not a newspaper or news site anymore folks.
BAILEY---the numbers are in. Lets now work together and make this newspaper the place it once was. It starts with YOU. No more favorites. We are all in this together.
12:14 - Kumbayah.
Gannett endorsed a losing candidate. How approprio.
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Bailey, WE WON!!! Can we work together now and move us to where we once was?
1:48 Gannett may be going down the toilet but the USA won!
Get Ready. Higher taxes, a coming fiscal cliff and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will not result in more investment from advertisers....only less. Ask them and that’s exactly what a plurality will tell you.Again, get ready.
8:49 AM'S advice is wise. Pack your boxes so when they walk you out of your office, you're prepared to take everything with you so you don't have to schedule an appointment with HR to come back. Nobody is safe in this company. Nobody.
Congratulations to the Nashville Tennessean on the late breaking news today of a local utility worker honored. "He received the award at the association’s business conference in Gatlinburg in August".
Great post-election editorial.http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-obamawins-1107-20121107,0,6615640.storyAny Gannett papers craft anything like this?
Cincinnati Enquirer asks...What's your reaction to President Obama's re-election?- Hello, Canada. 54%- My country rocks. 41%- Meh. Doesn't matter much to me.5http://cincinnati.com/blogs/politics/2012/11/07/poll-your-reaction-to-president-obamas-re-election/
Here's the "exclusive news for subscribers" from Shreveport:http://www.shreveporttimes.com/Note the USAT fail at the top of the homepage.
gosh Gannett sends a gasoline tanker truck from Arkansas to Asbury, fills uo over 600 employee and carrier vehicle gas tanks for free and nary a word here. I'm sure someone will complain that they didn't send three trucks.
Gannett has had a "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment. On Election Night, the Ithaca Journal held its print deadline until 11 PM (ET) and then started the presses with a banner headline saying the presidential election was "UNDECIDED", NBC News called it for Obama not 20 minutes later.This latest Gannett cock-up also illustrates the foolishness of treating every political campaign as a horse race.
I would like to come back to work for Gannett , just so that I can leave again and prove to you whiney bitches that there ARE jobs elsewhere.... Oh and FYI, the Newhouse's pay MUCH better!
11:59, you forgot to mention a few points about the gas tanker: employees had to go to Asbury on a Saturday to get the gas. Between 9 & 2. That's someone's day off. Time away from family and children who have activities. Staff at 3 NJ newspapers other than Asbury were invited to get gas from the tanker, and that's nice. Getting there, however, would mean close to or more than a 100-mile trip roundtrip for many of the staff at those 3 papers. So by the time those workers got home, how much gas are they really getting? And for the amount of time traveling to & from. Consider that, please. It really is a nice gesture, but flawed. Now here's the complaint: Considering the unbearably unfair workloads forced upon us, the embarrassing lack of journalistic ethics, the lack of raises and the incredible leadership failures in Jersey, i will be godfuckingdamned if i give up any of my weekend days for this company, for any reason.
Jim I'm begging you please give 8:43 the worst human being of the year award! No one in the history of the blog has ever posted a more disgusting post. The entire area is a disaster area, gas stations have no power, and this guy is resentful that he is inconvenienced to have to go get free gas on a Saturday. How proud his Mom must be.
Gannett isnt used to nice gestures because the culture has never seen a need or felt the compassion to make them. So they tend to be hollow, insincere notes from management, silly (Purpose Walls, anyone?) or half baked. The tanker was about the nicest gesture I've seen, so probably not initiated at corporate.
8:43 provides more proof that people from New Jersey are sub-human.
12:35, it's 8:43. You know, you sound just like a sucker, a patsy & a fool. Sure you're not from corporate? Must be hard earning your paycheck in the supine position.
Subhuman + tired "you must be from corporate" claim = someone with an IQ below 75.Seek help.
I think it's cool that corporate sent gas tankers to the coast. If you saw the gas lines out here you'd know that was very smart. And, given GCI's usual oblivion toward its employees' welfare, pretty surprising. It's business, of course. But it helps a lot if you don't have to sit in a 5-hour gas line to do your job.How anybody can piss on that is beyond me.
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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