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Survey Of Magazines Can Provide Tips for Indy Outlets

December 2, 2011

I found an interesting report from the Columbia Review of Journalism about the online versions of print magazines that raises questions for indy outlets to answer. There is a lot of interesting data but the major fact shown is that magazines spend a very small portion of their time on their websites. A staggering 59 percent of magazine editors responded that there was “either no, or less vigorous, copy-editing than the print versions. Furthermore, 40 percent responded that there was little fact checking when wen editors are in charge of online content and 17 percent responded that sometimes there is no fact checking.

Perhaps this illustrates that there is a need for quality, internet-only content, something that will drive users to the site and earn advertising revenue for the publication. Are independent news outlets filling the gap of fact-checked news?

Another interesting number was that Just 32 percent of respondents said their website makes a profit. Sixty-three percent said they had the same editorial staff for print and online content. Does this mean that small staffed publications — like so many indy news outlets — will find it difficult to keep make a website profitable? or does it mean that it’s incredibly difficult to make money from a journalistic website? Whatever the answer, this study could be a helpful tool for helping indy outlets make decisions that will keep them in the black.

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