Internet News Could Use Some Newspapering

Internet news can really use one thing ... the discipline of newspapers.

When you write for a newspaper, you have to make your deadline. The presses run on a strict schedule. You either finish your piece by the prescribed time or you don't get published.

You also have to write to a certain length. Stories are assigned a certain number of column inches ahead of time. As a newspaper writer, you have to hit that length. More often than not, it's a case of trimming down copy, rather than bulking it up.

In the end, the newspaper system gives you reporters that write quickly and concisely. More and more, we are lacking that in Internet news. The 24-hour publishing cycle means stories can go up ... "whenever." And there is no column-inch limit in the Internet ether.

Some writers (particularly some of our bloggers) argue with me that this is a good thing. It allows deeper analysis and fuller journalism.

In some cases I'd have to agree with them. But those are exceptions. From what I've seen around the Net, it is more common to see too-long stories published with less immediacy.

Don't get me wrong ... I love Internet journalism. It's the future. We could just really use some of that newspaper discipline.

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