This Just In!

The Lakeland Ledger’s new Publisher, Jerome Ferson, started work today. The following plea is to his attention:

Please stop with the “Breaking News!”

As I write this entry, there are 14 items listed under the theledger.com‘s Breaking News. Most are simply not timely or important enough to be considered “breaking news.” You have a paragraph about Bucs tickets that will go on sale in five days! There’s a story about the winners of a father-son golf tourney that finished yesterday. A snippet mentions that you have until Monday to register to vote in Winter Haven. One is even about a construction project ahead of schedule.

Breaking news should be something you’d interrupt a Florida vs. Florida State title game to report.

These might be cool stories. They might be teasers for tomorrow’s paper, but they’re certainly not breaking news.

How about a new section for these items? “This is cool!” or “In Tomorrow’s Ledger” or whatever a focus group thinks is a cool section header. That way you can leave Breaking News for, well, breaking news.

Thank you, and welcome to Lakeland. Please wear sunscreen.

Chuck Welch

14 thoughts on “This Just In!

  1. The biggest problem with the way we present breaking news on theledger.com is that it pushes the site’s main content too far down on the home page. That will be remedied with the redesign we plan to launch next month.

  2. The biggest problem with the way we present breaking news on theledger.com is that it pushes the site’s main content too far down on the home page. That will be remedied with the redesign we plan to launch next month.

  3. I’m looking forward to the redesign. But, that won’t help those of us who watch the Breaking News RSS feed. Today, I had the news flash “Masks May Save Injured Pets.” It led to a short story about a mask for pets that was demonstrated Monday.

  4. I’m looking forward to the redesign. But, that won’t help those of us who watch the Breaking News RSS feed. Today, I had the news flash “Masks May Save Injured Pets.” It led to a short story about a mask for pets that was demonstrated Monday.

  5. Does your RSS reader give you the ability to rename feeds? If so, you can call the breaking news feed “First Look” or “Tomorrow’s Ledger Today.” After all, weren’t you the guy who suggested: “Post it as soon as a reporter writes it up, or when someone pulls it off the wire” in a blog comment.

  6. Does your RSS reader give you the ability to rename feeds? If so, you can call the breaking news feed “First Look” or “Tomorrow’s Ledger Today.” After all, weren’t you the guy who suggested: “Post it as soon as a reporter writes it up, or when someone pulls it off the wire” in a blog comment.

  7. Oh, so true Mr. Ledger Online Guru, :) I did say that. But I said “post them” not “dump everything into the Breaking News feed.”

    There are at least 23 RSS feeds from the Ledger. What would be the harm of having one actually be “breaking news?” Just the timely and important stuff. That way I can have the other 23 go to my news reader and the real breaking news pop up immediately on my desktop.

    And, by the way, my feed reader does let me rename feeds. Long ago, I changed “Breaking News” to “Satisfying the Feed Quota.” :)

    I’m still looking forward to the design change. Was the pop-up pizza ad I saw today part of the new features? I liked how it killed itself after a moment. I think interstitial ads are better than pop-ups though.

    Maybe even start adding text ads to the feeds? What do you think?

  8. Oh, so true Mr. Ledger Online Guru, :) I did say that. But I said “post them” not “dump everything into the Breaking News feed.”

    There are at least 23 RSS feeds from the Ledger. What would be the harm of having one actually be “breaking news?” Just the timely and important stuff. That way I can have the other 23 go to my news reader and the real breaking news pop up immediately on my desktop.

    And, by the way, my feed reader does let me rename feeds. Long ago, I changed “Breaking News” to “Satisfying the Feed Quota.” :)

    I’m still looking forward to the design change. Was the pop-up pizza ad I saw today part of the new features? I liked how it killed itself after a moment. I think interstitial ads are better than pop-ups though.

    Maybe even start adding text ads to the feeds? What do you think?

  9. OK, Now you’re just messing with me. :)

    Ledger “Breaking News”
    Published Wednesday, August 1, 2007
    Boxer Berto Injured During Fight

    Andre Berto turned his ankle during Friday night’s fight with Cosme Rivera but still managed to dominate. Read more at Rapping Sports with Rick Brown.

  10. OK, Now you’re just messing with me. :)

    Ledger “Breaking News”
    Published Wednesday, August 1, 2007
    Boxer Berto Injured During Fight

    Andre Berto turned his ankle during Friday night’s fight with Cosme Rivera but still managed to dominate. Read more at Rapping Sports with Rick Brown.

  11. As you know, I’m no sports expert. But I do know our sports editor was proud of that blog post and wanted it linked from breaking news. Perhaps we were first to report Berto’s ankle was sprained. At any rate, I’m online director, not online editor. The Internet Department provides the tools and the newsroom uses them.

  12. As you know, I’m no sports expert. But I do know our sports editor was proud of that blog post and wanted it linked from breaking news. Perhaps we were first to report Berto’s ankle was sprained. At any rate, I’m online director, not online editor. The Internet Department provides the tools and the newsroom uses them.

  13. And uses them often. You obviously create helpful tools.

    I like Rick Brown’s work. It is one of the Ledger reporter blogs I subscribe to and always look forward to reading — even if he doesn’t cover enough baseball for my taste.

    I can see why the sports editor was proud of the entry. But my definition of “breaking news” includes the Minnesota bridge collapse (within a couple of hours after it happened), but not a blog entry about an event days old. Even if the reporter is the first to report the ankle sprain.

    I’m looking for a feed that interrupts me only for the big, breaking events. Maybe I’m defining the feed too narrowly for what the Ledger wants to do with the feed. That’s fine. My post explained my desire. I’ll leave it there.

  14. And uses them often. You obviously create helpful tools.

    I like Rick Brown’s work. It is one of the Ledger reporter blogs I subscribe to and always look forward to reading — even if he doesn’t cover enough baseball for my taste.

    I can see why the sports editor was proud of the entry. But my definition of “breaking news” includes the Minnesota bridge collapse (within a couple of hours after it happened), but not a blog entry about an event days old. Even if the reporter is the first to report the ankle sprain.

    I’m looking for a feed that interrupts me only for the big, breaking events. Maybe I’m defining the feed too narrowly for what the Ledger wants to do with the feed. That’s fine. My post explained my desire. I’ll leave it there.

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