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Posts Tagged ‘Bay State Banner

the few who control the media and a non-profit

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Would you want to see COMCAST buy NBC News, MSNBC,  CNBC, the Spanish-language Telemundo network, and the USA and Bravo cable channels with one fat check?  Gee whiz! They just might do it soon.

Investing in the Online Newspaper

This article mentions  investors by name who are buying and building online newspaper businesses. You can read about current  projects and learn about non-profit companies that have been formed from the investments.  In one business plan,  $5 million in private money was put up for 120 journalism students to work with a radio station with 28 reporters to make an online newspaper.

Journalism Online is another well capitalized effort. They are dead set on taking over the hosting of newspaper web sites so they can insure they’ll get paid when they get read.  On a their sites, a  consumer would  sign up  for annual or monthly subscriptions, day passes, and single articles from multiple publishers.  The publishers set the prices and viewing options.

The Black Press Boston Update

The Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall has a 200-320 capacity space.  It can be configured for a variety of events such as conference.  On September 30th it was reported that 200 people met with the operators of the Boston Banner newspaper, to conference with them about their plans for becoming a continued success story.  { http://tinyurl.com/yd9ht2p ]

There’s a http://www.blackpressusa.com directory of black newspapers all over the country.

What Will People End Up With?

For the past 60 days or so  this writer  turned off the TV set and switched off  Obama bashing radio talk shows.  They were all replaced by my FM/AM battery-operated radio that cost about $19.00 from Radio Shack.  I began paying more attention to my Facebook  newsfeed.  When I glanced at magazine covers or turned their pages at the store,  I rarely bought them.

During my media-blackout, I  would read the NYT, WSJ, the Globe the Herald, etc. but from a distance. I’d  scan them quickly, then put them right back on the shelf where I got them. I brought the Boston Banner, the JP Gazette,  and the Boston Phoenix papers home with me.  I’d stuff  litle LOLA and COLOR magazine into the brief then bring them home as well.

Information Overload

I think a less newsy world is not a bad thing really.

Newspapers in print rarely have been  arranged to give a person exactly what they are looking for.  The online editions aren’t much better. There is some customization but showcasing the ads often trumps the convenience of having a completely user-controlled experience when you view the material online.

I think print or electronic information that provides an answer to what people are looking for is something people want and likely to pay for.   With 411, that happens.

Time after time, I have found information I needed faster by using the Yellow Pages directory, than I have using either Bing, Google or Yahaoo Search Engines.  The advertisers pay for both.

A person called  the other day seeking a “black” investor for his medical device product that would help solve the problem of sexually transmitted diseases.  He wanted a person’s name and contact info.  Frankly, I don’t think a “product” is going to solve that problem but it was an interesting question to pursue getting an answer for.

I had an hour to figure out where to go to obtain a duplicate  social security card the other day in Boston.  I was out and about so I decided to stop by  FEDEX/KINKOS to rent computer time to look it up.   At $0.25 a minute, time flies.   It cost me a bit more than $3  to pin down where Room 148  is in the Tip O’Neil Office Building.  When I got there, the office was closing at 4PM, although their web site said 5PM.   I had 8 minutes left to go but got the deal done.

“Time”  is manufactured by human beings in the UK

I don’t know how much time is left for newspapers to maintain an adequate revenue stream. Its hard to say really but I have seen a few trends that I’d like to remember.

[ here today, gone tomorrow ]

I’ve seen custom wordprocessing shops with people in them charging $1 a page to type pages for you get replaced by computer word processing software.  Seen music recording studios that charge by the hour get replaced by home pc variety ProTools/Logic and Audacity software working in concert with hi-quality portable electronic audio processors.  I’ve seen BYTE magazine, PC WORLD magazine and others like them who thrived on the Mail-Order advertising customer like the DELLs, Gateways and IBMs,  get replaced by online Internet catalog sales, ebay, craigslist and etc.

The last Craigslist Killer

Craigslist by most accounts, is an amazing success story, but on the other hand – they have a hard time controlling SPAM  Listings and its totally pissing off a lot of people.  With newspaper want ad listings THERE IS NO SPAM.  Spam may kill Craigslist.

Written by aboutblackboston

October 1, 2009 at 1:03 pm

The savers who may invest in the Banner

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savers have a briefcase full of dough

savers have a briefcase full of dough

Got to wonder if an article  like this http://tinyurl.com/mvozfj (“As weekly paper closes, black community loses a voice: Bay State Banner falls victim to the downturn,”  Boston Globe, June 8 2009) will excite  the saver putting money in a savings account at-a-rate-like-no-other-time-in-history,   enough to pull out some to invest in the Boston Banner?

What will they want to know more to do it and is that explained adequately in the article? Probably not!

Tomorrow, the Banner will likely update BostonBanner.com with more relevant information about their financial situation.

Used to be that Boston banks who loan money to local businesses to cover receivables and such wanted to see $2 in current cash assets for every $1 of the credit line requested, but perhaps times have changed all that.

Media mongul Rupert Murdoch was quoted recently as saying “newspapers have to charge more for content.”  This is probably right, but then again, his Myspace interactive media property has had huge layoffs recently and the digerati on Techcrunch.com are saying their comeback against FaceBook is next to impossible, even though Myspace revenue from digital sales stretches towards $500 million a year gross.

So what could the average  Boston Banner reader say to help save the Banner?  They could say “no more free newspapers, charge us and we’ll pay.”  Could be a lesson to be learned considering….

If the Boston Banner closes (let’s hope it doesn’t) there will be a slew of minority-culture  indie  publications attempting to  its place.   I do mean “print”  like sheets of paper, not web sites.

Black media web sites in Boston aren’t  newspapers but a lot of people read them.  The Boston Black web cloud is free from the constraints of journalism theory, although they have learned a few tricks from journalists and reporters.

Predictions on possibilities:

Consider  Color Magazine –  they could take on an expansion to capture some of the print territory the Banner leaves behind if they can handle that financially.  The publication is distributed on the street now and in many locations their boxes sit  right beside the Banner’s.  To do so may encourge them to drop the word “magazine” from their title, print less glossy pages and scratch the word “[diversity] as in  hire-me-I’m colored” from their masthead.

Consider  Unity First, a newspaper/magazine that been going strong for at least 20 years. They have a good audience and had roots in Boston.

Can’t leave this post  without mentioning the Dorchester Reporter newspaper.  DR already covers topics  found in the Banner and its a great paper.

Then there is the unique Black Bostonian newspaper which has its own tribe  and voice… The El Planeta / Boston Latino   media orgs – any of these could become players, but will they?

Probably the best possible outcome for continuing operations at the Banner  is to influence a saver, not the VCs, to jump into the pop and help it break through. So saver, when you do it, take away that word “free” on the Banner’s header  and put a price on it.

Boston will pay for the Banner, I think.

Written by aboutblackboston

July 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Boston Banner Bay State Banner Come Back!

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Franklin Park entrance that once stood

Franklin Park entrance that once stood

The power of words.

Candelaria Silva Mourns the Banner in the articleBay State Banner Suspends Publication – Say-it-ain’t so” read full story on her blog.

Excerpt: >>>  There is simply no one to replace what the Banner has done.<<

Ditto , that’s exactly how we feel.
Hurry back Banner.

Written by aboutblackboston

July 7, 2009 at 9:48 pm

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