Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Flashback to 2009: to move to MLive, "rebrand" as "The Ann Arbor News"

As a recently graduated journalism student, I'm not sure how I didn't see this news until last night. To make a long story short, will no longer be a standalone website, and will merge with MLive on Sept. 12, i.e. tomorrow: content will move to the online and mobile news platforms on Sept. 12, and will shut down after four years as a standalone website.
Along with that change, the twice-weekly print publication will be rebranded as The Ann Arbor News.
For those who don't remember, was once a daily newspaper--one of those things made of paper that my J-school colleagues and I wish people would buy--called The Ann Arbor News.

According to Rick Edmonds in this 2009 Poynter article, Ann Arbor was the first American city to lose its only daily newspaper. Given the state of the economy, the market for journalism and the demographics of Ann Arbor, perhaps this wasn't so much of a surprise, as sad and unfortunate as it was (as are other shutterings and/or paring-downs across the country).

So, four years later, will no longer exist as a singular, standalone entity. I'm not sure how much this will change sports coverage (probably not at all), but as someone interested in journalism and Ann Arbor, generally, I wonder how joining the MLive platform will affect reportage unique to Ann Arbor. According to staffers in the comment section of their letter to readers linked at the beginning of this post, coverage won't change; but, that is always something to monitor anytime this sort of move occurs.

Ann Arbor content will now be accessible through the MLive app, for those interested in that sort of thing. "Reducing duplication" is the way of journalism these days, but the decision to bring back the Ann Arbor News moniker is an interesting one.

In any case, with the move officially happening tomorrow, this will be something to follow if you are interested in Ann Arbor and the media outlets that cover it (beyond coverage of the football and basketball teams).

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