Blogs > City Editor's Blog

By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How to reach more readers

Strange sequence of events in two newsrooms and some unknown reader's home Tuesday afternoon and evening:
About 4:25 p.m., a northbound Amtrak train stuck and killed a man on the tracks in the Dutchess County town of Hyde Park. By about 6 p.m., a short story about the incident appeared on the Web site of the Poughkeepsie newspaper, a competitor of ours. They had it first. We got beat. No sense in denying it.
A short time later, we at the Freeman had enough information to roughly match the Poughkeepsie story, so we wrote it up and posted it on our site.
Around 9 p.m., we picked up some additional key details: The age and gender of the person who was killed, the direction in which the train was traveling (which was wrong on the other paper's site), the correct number of people on the train, and so on. So we hammered out a quick story with all the new material and posted the update on our Web site about 9:15 p.m.
But the Poughkeepsie paper's story remained unchanged. Nothing new at 9:30 p.m. Nothing new at 10, 10:15, 10:30.
Then, an apparently frustrated reader of that paper did his fellow readers a favor and paid us the ultimate compliment: He or she went to our Web site, copied our text and pasted it in the "Reader Comments" area under the outdated story on the Poughkeepsie site, with the heading "From the Daily Freeman."
We're always looking for ways to reach more readers. This is one that never occurred to us.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home