• RSS Feed

The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

May 16, 2008 / Toby Dayton

Minnesota’s April Jobs Report Provides Great Lesson For Dailies

The April jobs numbers were released this week, and my efforts to locate details on the numbers from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) serve as a perfect example of why daily newspapers are failing so badly these days.

The report itself was pretty grim – Minnesota lost 10,100 jobs in April and the state’s unemployment rate rose to 4.8%. The job losses were pretty much across the board, but construction, manufacturing, and government were hit particularly hard. Just as alarming, the state has added only 19,000 jobs in the past 12 months, far short of the 30,000 jobs that would be required just to keep up with Minnesota’s population growth.  The outlook for the remainder of the year remains pretty dismal as well, with possibly the only bright spot related to the passage of a $770M bonding bill which could eventually spur some job growth.

At any rate, I was interested in seeing details issued by DEED, so I started on Star Tribune’s site to see if they had a PDF of the report or any useful links as part of their reporting on it. Wishful thinking apparently. Not only did they not have a PDF of the report, they didn’t provide a single link to DEED or any other site. I am continually dumbfounded at how pathetic the Strib’s (and most dailies for that matter) even basic understanding of how the web works, how to deliver value to readers, how to generate site traffic, and how to successfully transition into a web-centric media model. It’s a small example, but it perfectly elucidates why the daily newspapers are in the decrepit condition they’re in. Newspapers have never transitioned from being reporters of and, in their minds, the ultimate arbiters of facts to being a multi-dimensional, rich resource for their readers that leverages all the tremendous power of the web.

After a Google search on ‘Minnesota April job losses 2008.’ I was delivered to a very helpful DEED page that had all the information I was looking for, including useful links to more detailed information and historical data going back multiple years, etc. I guess I should have started with Google or DEED, but I naively thought that a modern media company would deliver the information more efficiently and effectively than trying to navigate around a state government agency site. I’ll never make that mistake again.

[tags]Star Tribune, Minnesota Jobs Data, April Job Losses, DEED, Department of Employment & Economic Development, How To Leverage The Web, Daily Recommendation For The Dailies[/tags]