Monday, December 10, 2007

The End Of The World Herald

I'd like to link to the Omaha World Herald's website, but I'm not sure you'll get directed to any sort of website. Or at least not something that's continuously updated like you think it should be.
The burial of the World Herald, and in particular omaha.com, has been a long time coming. Consider:
  • The domain omaha.com has increasingly gotten WORSE over the past decade, not better. It's almost like somebody buying the domain name of a famous person or place just to own the rights to the domain name and not doing anything with it. It's gotten that bad.
  • You can't even read the OWH's most well-known sports columnist (Tom Shatel) or regular columnist (Mike Kelly) on-line. But feel free to go now and read not only award-winning journalists Joe Posnanski and Jason Whitlock at kansascity.com, or for Husker coverage, head for Lincoln Jouranal Star columnists like Steve Sipple anytime you want. In fact, and here's something original, you can go back and read their OLD stories if you'd like. The OWH probably doesn't want you doing that with Shatel, especially during the whole flip-flop during the Frank Solich firing.
  • For whatever reason, The Omaha World Herald has maintained the attitude that they simply control the state. They've maintained that attitude through the advent of blogs like this, and even while their neighbor down the street, The Lincoln Journal Star, beat them in overall coverage on the biggest story to hit Nebraska in ten years. Bigger than Osborne stepping down. Bigger than Callahan/Pelini. Bigger than Alexander Payne doing movies here. Bigger than Presidents Clinton and Bush visiting Omaha. Bigger than anything Warren Buffet's done. And for the record, the Journal-Star outdid the World Herald on all of those stories too.

This great piece really takes omaha.com, and in particular the World Herald, to task. Alan Mutter now knows what we've all been saying for decades: "The Omaha World-Herald was caught completely flat-footed today when a gunman killed eight people in a local mall, producing the worst online coverage in memory by a newspaper with a major story breaking in its own backyard."

That's being a bit kind. Not only could you not go to omaha.com to get constant updates on what was happening, the website was reportedly down for OVER three hours. Yet journalstar.com was fully functional with updated news, all of the Omaha radio and television stations had complete coverage, but the ten-foot tall and supposedly bullet-proof news kind was nowhere to be found.


Mutter continues: "But Omaha.Com readers weren’t missing much. Once the outage was overcome, readers got a single lead story and roundup of predictable harrumphing from local politicians. There were no splash graphics like those at Fox News; none of the hundreds of reader comments like those at USA Today; nothing like the eyewitness photos and elaborate aerial map at CNN, and no sign of the extensive live video aired and webcast throughout the day by KETV and other local outlets."


It should also be noted that omaha.com went down on October 15th, the day that Nebraska fired Athletic Director Steve Pederson. It went down again the following day for an even longer period of time when Tom Osborne was named interim-AD. And of course, on November 24th, you couldn't go to omaha.com to find anything out about Bill Callahan's firing. Or Pelini coming to town a week later.


This blog has beat omaha.com to posts on Husker Football games this year. That's just fucking sad. Every Saturday, we'd scour the web for recent articles and photos on another Husker Loss. Sipple would have his column at the Lincoln Journal Star up and running, and frankly we'd get most of our material from the Journal Star, because omaha.com had nothing up yet.


The comments at Mutter's blog tell more. One person says, "Reporters at the newspaper didn't even have personal e-mails until about 2 years ago." Another goes on about how "World Herald management views access to information as a means of social control, and always has. It has been clear in recent weeks with the big sports stories that crashed their site that management deliberately maintains low capacity on omaha.com to drive local readers to the print edition of the paper."


RIGHT. Because nobody's heard of the fucking internet. If omaha.com would have their shit together, then maybe Wolff Blitzer and CNN wouldn't fuck up and refer to omaha as Obama, Nebraska in the above picture? But the OWH's biggest problem is that they still think people legitimately read a newspaper from cover to cover. That sort of shit hasn't been happening anywhere since 1996.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yo, dirty laundry. A friend of mine was photography intern at the OWH and she overheard Gottschalk call the Internet "a passing fad." I spoke with Mike Reilly once a few months ago and he pays lip service to the Internet's existence. A bunch of blah, blah about how at the end of his career he'll worry about the online product. A whole load of B.S. to say the least. I live in Los Angeles and what I thought was most astonishing was that even latimes.com, no Web site to write home about (although they're working on it), did the least of including all the material, photos and such, generated by the AP. That's the absolute least omaha.com could do. You can't even leave comments on that piece of crap omaha.com to tell them how crappy they really are. Crap. Crap all around.

Dirtylaundry said...

It's just common knowledge that the big papers have to be both print and online, and do both well. Hell, TV and RADIO stations understand it.

BSmokedTurkey said...

This OWH bashing gets me rigid with excitement (whereas LJS bashing gets me flaccid with anger).

TravisRoastBeef said...

I agree with this post, OWH is Nazi bastards.

Tom Shatel said...

thi,,th,,thethth,this...total,,total,,totoleee. pp,p,p,p,p,pithes me o,o,o,off!!

todd said...

nice shatel impression. i've never seen one typed out so accurately.

what i'd really love to see though is the number of suckers who actually paid for the OWH's 'premium' husker package. i'm thinking dozens ponied up but not quite a hundred.

Dirtylaundry said...

Do NOT sign up for anything extra with the OWH that costs more $$$. You still can't access Sh-sh-sh-sh-Shatel online. If you want premium Husker coverage, just go to huskerpedia.com. They don't do a lot of blogs like we do here, but they do have all of the information up as it happens. I shouldn't shill for another site, but they do a great job.

BSmokedTurkey said...

TRB-Can you type in your Regis Philbin impression, too?

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