E&P Vegas 2006: Newsy Bits and Observations

Some pieces of news and observations from the E&P new media conf:

MarketWatch media business reporter Bambi Francisco‘s going to launch a blog, but doesn’t want it to look like colleague Frank Barnako‘s, all green and black and MarketWatch-looking. She wants “a nice periwinkle” and to talk “about sports and other stuff.”

Too much talk about “new media.” By now, that’s a very old term. Or maybe after 10 years of this stuff, we just feel that way. And why are people so worried about journalists knowing about the tools vs. being journalists? It’s a false dichotomy. TV correspondents need to know how to shoot and edit video. Radio reporters need to record clean audio. Shouldn’t digital use digital tools? As WaPo.com’s Jim Brady noted, Adrian Holovaty, a graduate of U. of Missouri’s school of journalism, created Chicagocrime.org doing amazing stuff with Google maps, congressional databases, “Faces of the Fallen” about Iraqi soldiers, and supposedly created the site from software in about 40 hours. So, he’s a journalist and a coder. Not either/or.

An observation that maybe Nick Denton doesn’t have a suite of blogs in his native U.K. because the libel laws are stricter there.

Which big magazine that got some awards notice recently had to fight a battle with higher ups to allow “tagging” applications on the site that helped get it the awards notice?

“It’s the content, stupid,” says Vin Crosbie, above with Knight Ridder Digital chief Bruce Koon. A theme repeated by CNET’s Neil Ashe when he noted that it was the Saturday Night Live spot on the Chroni-WHAT-cles of Narnia that pushed YouTube over the edge in viewership. It’s the good content that brings people in. Well, yeah.

The editor of a leading business magazine’s website mentions that he’s constantly getting pressure from the marketing side to increase ad inventory to areas that are earning “three-figure” CPMs, meaning $100 or more per 1,000 views. That’s a rate that makes most marketers drool.

What nationally read newspaper makes its Web side pay an “allocation” to the print side, so that at least a portion of the reporting and all it gets from the print side is counted in its books (which are kept separately from the print version)?

The men’s room was playing an elevator music version of “Sexual Feeling.” Made us feel very not sexual. Unlike the “cabanas” by the pool, where we envision holding all our meetings henceforth.

Despite our feeling of deja vu, there has been some change, says WaPo’s Jim Brady. “Three years ago (at conferences), it was ‘Why can’t print and online get along?’ Now it’s, ‘What model can work together.'”

MSNBC.com’s traffic is “down” to a proportion of about 40% from MSN. President and Publisher Charlie Tillinghast wants to get that ratio lower.

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