Hannibal, Mo. News Editor Mary Lou Montgomery is speaking. Hannibal paper is about 8,000 circ. Gatehouse Media paper. Here’s a link to their multimedia page.
These are partial transcriptions of what she says – ed.
Readership habits have changed. “Each day we print obituaries from a generation of loyal newspaper readers.”
Equipment isn’t expensive. Their photojournalist left (was laid off?) and so they outfitted their reporters with cheap video cameras. Canon s5, about $300. Used iMovie already on their computers.
The newspaper is only as good as the people who work there. “But that’s not what I was hired to do,” is not a good excuse. “In reality, our craft is changing faster than any of us could have imagined. If you want to weather these changes, you’d better get in touch with the reality.” (from a slide)
“Wanted: a journalist who feels comfortable carrying a camera.” “I can’t afford … to send two people to an accident scene.” “If you’re a specialist, I can’t hire you anymore.”
An example of their video efforts from a funeral for a good samaritan who was killed trying to help someone out.
Also, a light-hearted video of “Miss Mary,” 105-year-old resident who loves “Jesus, Barbecue and Beer, in that order.” “We whitewash what people say” in the news business, because we clean up people’s language. She transcribed Miss Mary’s story in her own words, even using the word “shit” in the paper. Here’s a story about that issue.
Newsroom down from 13 people to seven over the last 20 years. More than 1 million web hits in August.
Less than 10 percent of Courier-Post ad revenue comes from online, but it is growing.