Tuesday, July 25, 2006

News from back home for newcomers
In Charlotte, we're interested in running something along the lines of a 50-state news summary. Other McClatchy papers in the Carolinas are also interested in a feature like that. We think this would be particularly sticky content for our region's newcomers. I know a lot of you also have lots of newcomers. The Associated Press does not move something like that. I'm told that the AP does assemble the one you see in USAToday, but for a special premium. I wondered if any of you have discovered a way to produce something like this without the AP's involvement.


  1. The trick with such is, obviously, getting news from all the states every day. That's easy from big states like California, Florida, and Texas, more challenging from Maine, Rhode Island and Wyoming.

    McClatchy now has dailies in 16 states, so that's a start.

    Still, it might be worth checking with AP on how much they'd charge for such. I've never heard of any other service offering it.

  2. Would a feature like that really serve your readers? I guess it makes sense for USA Today, but it often seems to me like a compromise that doesn't do anything well: most items are too short for people from the state concerned and too long for everybody else.

    For local or regional newspapers, I wonder if it would make more sense to identify where most newcomers are coming from, and then take that into account in chosing national wire stories ...

  3. I should have mentioned that we are also considering a limited number of states, based on where most of our newcomers are from. But they are arriving at a rate of 40,000 a year in Charlotte, so we have a lot of states represented here. Given that, we wanted to at least explore doing all 50.

  4. I would love to have this if we find a way to produce it. We get 42,000 Penn State students from virtually everywhere every semester.

  5. Bob, I hadn't thought about the appeal this has for college audiences, but that makes a lot of sense. A summary might also make us more appealing to universities thinking of distributing papers as an amenity on campus. I know a lot of campuses now provide newspapers as part of the package financed by student fees. This couldn't hurt that.