Baristanet v Ledger Live – Digital v traditional

Ledger Live, the daily broadcast by New Jersey’s Star-Ledger, has delighted all those interested in the survival of traditional media. It has picked up the best habits of citizen journalism – the use of readers videos, for example – and packaged it all up with the humour of its ace reporter and now commentator Brian Donohue. Sadly the paper’s future came under threat the very week its news room jumped into the digital age.

Then things started to turn nasty. Deb Galant, from Baristanet a local, competitive website, broadcast a comment about the Star-Ledger’s financial situation. She could not get to get to the studio so did it from home in her pajamas. See below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Webcast: Wednesday August 6, 2008…“, posted with vodpod

Sadly Ledger Live rose to the bait and broadcast one of its journalists responding to Baristanet, also jokily dressed up in pajamas in the office- see below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Pajama Game (Baristanet)“, posted with vodpod

Now it is bad enough for any media company to mention its competitor. Readers and users also get bored by for such self-referential journalism – they want the news about their world, not news about the news. But the riposte by Ledger Live also undermined its position.

Its journalist argued that traditional journalism will always beat citizen journalism because its reporters actually visit courts or crises – something they cannot do in pajamas. It’s right to say such things but just wrong on this occasion.

Just when a traditional paper might have found a way to survive the present media crisis in the US with its broadcast, it goes and uses the age-old and evidently failing argument that only traditional journalism is worthwhile. How ironic it fights that battle while so evidently using the techniques and styles of citizen journalism.

Find out more about Ledger Live, click here

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About John Welsh

John Welsh has spent his entire working life in business-to-business media, first traditional publishing, having edited three magazines over 14 years, and, second, exhibitions since 2007. He started this blog on 22 June 2008 and ended it on 18 May 2010.
This entry was posted in Newspaper business, Video and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Baristanet v Ledger Live – Digital v traditional

  1. Brian Donohue says:

    I think it’s a good, healthy debate and that’s why we pushed it to prominence in the show. If blogs replace newspapers, just who will do the kind of bare knuckled, muckracking reporting our society relies on? We asked Debra Gallant to comment on this in order to begin a dialogue. Also, I wouldn’t call the pajama response a “riposte” by the Star Ledger. It was one reporter who decided to wear her pajamas to work. When I saw her, I knew I had to film it and get it on the show. She really didn’t even want to be one.

    Also, as for characterizing the whole thing as nasty. From my seat in the front row, I didn’t see it as nasty whatsoever. Both Debbie and our reporter are neighbors and both thought the whole thing was in good humor and are laughing about it.

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