Google Inc. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said that the Internet search leader hopes its recently acquired advertising service DoubleClick will aid newspapers as they struggle to corral more online revenue.
“It’s a huge moral imperative to help here,” Schmidt said during a question-and-answer session at an event hosted in San Francisco by Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Without providing specifics about how it might be accomplished, Schmidt said DoubleClick’s system for serving up online display ads could generate “significant” revenue online for newspapers.
There’s been much concern and controversy concerning the drop in relevance of newspaper real estate ads.
Seattle’s a two newspaper town but due to a Joint Operating Agreement, only the Seattle Times publishes a Sunday newspaper.
Real estate ads reign supreme on Sunday, but the section’s a mess with random ads scattered over a dozen or so pages. It’s impossible to find the property in the price range and neighborhood you want without reading every single page and filtering out the unsuitable properties.
The best solution I’ve seen so far is the “booklet” published by such papers as the Santa Barbara News-Press. It’s published by a company called Classified Concepts, and they make an incredible interface by selling classified Open House ads around an area map. Visually and graphically, a buyer can see the house location in an easy-to-carry magazine format.
Though I respect the Fourth Estate and the honorable separation of the editorial and advertising departments, I am tired of journalists publishing press releases verbatim from real estate vendors.
The unthinking and unquestioning publication of press releases from alternative online real estate companies is ironic to say the least. Our local bricks-and-mortar real estate firms spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in newspaper advertising. Online firms, who NEVER advertise, get so much ink that you’d think the editors and reporters were on the payroll.
Reporting news is good. Endlesslessly pushing and promoting online companies that will NEVER BUY ADVERTISING is bad journalism and poor judgement.
Press Release Journalism?