An Update on Tallahassee
On Friday I wrote about the Tallahassee Democrat’s experiment in making its investigative story about Wakulla County’s sheriff a print-only feature, supplemented by online areas where readers could get a summary of the story, discuss it and read supporting documents. (See the original post here.)
So how’d it go? I emailed Bob Gabordi, the Democrat’s executive editor, to find out.
“Traffic was pretty strong and the conversation was very lively,” he told me. “We had just under 9,000 page views on the summary, primarily people going on for the conversation. Much of the focus was on the journalism: Did we go too far into his business, not far enough, even a few ‘just rights.’ ”
Those 9,000 page views, Mr. Gabordi says, put the summary in tallahassee.com’s top 15 text pieces for the month in terms of traffic — and in the top five if football stories are excluded.
Meanwhile, on the print side, he says the Democrat saw its biggest Sunday single-copy sales day since the Sunday after Thanksgiving 2008, with a gain of nearly 16% over the previous week.
* * *
At the risk of changing gears rather precipitously, here’s my latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center. It notes that access to players and games was once a huge competitive advantage for sportswriters, but regular telecasts and wall-to-wall sports coverage have eroded that advantage. Is access still useful? Yes — but I contend that few sportswriters are using it in ways that would help new media work for them.