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Many newspaper websites are borderline unusable
Wesley R. Bush, Photographer
Murfreesboro | TN | U.S. | Posted: 3:15 PM on 07.24.17
->> Brief rant here. I don't know where we went wrong. Somewhere after newspapers decided to give their product away for free on the internet, they also decided to make that online gift as horrible as possible for the user. I literally can't think of any other industry with a more ridiculous shared template of html. Would I be crazy to believe that they actually code the pages to jump a split second before clicking so ads are accidentally clicked? Fifteen-second auto-play videos with 30-second unskippable ads that follow me around the page for content I don't want to watch in video form? What is this? And Why? WHY does my browser lock up so often on news sites? How is this possible today?
With websites this horrible, newspaper subscriptions should be tax-deductible donations.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 7:54 PM on 07.24.17
->> The answer is simple -- MONEY. Like other free websites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. they have to make money somehow. That's why there are sponsored news feeds and the such. Advertisers don't want to pay money if viewers can quickly turn off their ad videos. Would you?

As to bad website designs, remember that they are run by print people and companies that want to cut costs every way they can to increase their bottom line. Which is cheaper? To have a photographer and writer work on a story or have the writer shoot the pix too? To have a copy desk to provide quality control or rewrite reporter duties to be responsible for spelling too? To have original imagery shot by staffers and freelancers or to use free contributions and generic stock images from ShutterStock, iStockphoto, Adobe stock, etc. as illustrations?

And look at how newspapers have gone from having their own news, copy, and design desks who know their city and those in it to having their papers put together by out of state hubs to cut costs or having the editing outsourced to companies in India and Pakistan that have a complete disconnect with the local whose who of the city. Just recently the NY Times killed a hundred copy editing and other editing positions.

Here's a simple quiz I give to up and coming photographers, and to groups I speak to when explaining the changes in the media industry.

What is the primary business goal of:
Hertz, Avis, Budget
Allstate, Farmers, Nationwide, State Farm
Ford, GM, Toyota, Mercedes
NY Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Washington Post

The answers I get are:
rent cars
provide insurance
make automobiles
distribute the news

All those answers are wrong. The primary business goal of all of them, including photographers, is to make MONEY. All of them, including photographers, are "businesses" first and foremost whose purpose is to not just make money, but make enough profits to pay for salaries, vacations, retirement, etc. The answers they gave are merely the methods used to make money.

This is why it is so important nowadays that students don't need to just take photography classes, but also need basic business classes like accounting, contract law, marketing, and so on. In fact, business courses are even more important because without them you can't create a sustainable business model that earns enough MONEY to live on and retire with.
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Thread Title: Many newspaper websites are borderline unusable
Thread Started By: Wesley R. Bush
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