The LA Times appears to have not gone the way of the traditional newspapers such as the now bankrupt Chicago Tribune and the struggling New York Times. They have focused intently on their online content and it’s paying off.
Latimes.com grew their audience by 143% this year. It became the #2 online newspaper for the first time in November.
So how did they do it? Blogging.
Politics, fashion, and entertainment helped boost readership. I must confess, that 3,000 miles away in North Carolina, I’ve read an Latimes.com blog a time or two myself.
The web has also helped the paper venture into more interactive features, which they used to cover the Olympics and the Elections. It has also boosted what would be a typical feature story in print to an interactive experience online.
“It’s great to see this incredible reader response and to know the improvements we’ve been making at latimes.com are engaging to the online community,” said Meredith Artley, Executive Editor, latimes.com. “We’re complementing The Times unique voice and outstanding coverage with a strong blog network, database projects, visual journalism and interactive features, and we’ll be undertaking even more efforts in 2009 to better serve our growing audience.”
Of course, these papers that do succeed are great places to try and get links. But tread professionally. Recently, SEW Expert Sage Lewis got a few tips from his wife, an editor, on how to talk to newspaper types.