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Frosted Flakes: College World Series, The Future of Newspapers in Nebraska

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The CWS is a great event in Omaha, and the future of newspapers in Nebraska may have changed a great deal after an announcement earlier in the day.

Game winning homer by Oregon State over Miss St
Jon Johnston

I’ve been at the College World Series since Friday. It’s my first time at the CWS, but not TD Ameritrade as I shot (with a camera) the 2014 Big Ten baseball tournament. Thing is... when I first got here Friday, I didn’t remember a single thing about TD Ameritrade. Those memories had been destroyed.. it was rather upsetting at first, knowing that I’d been all around the place, but recognized nothing. I settled in after a few hours and things are fine now. It’s one of the things that go along with a brain injury - you don’t know what you don’t know, so once in a while you run into the unexpected and it throws you for a loop.

The games have been pretty good.. especially at the end of Oregon State-Mississippi State when you weren’t sure if the Beavers were going to pull it out at the end.

I have actually done very little in the way of going out and visiting eating establishments or people for that matter. I am not nearly as social as I used to be. A little bit at a time, maybe.

Not sure if I’ll make it to the end of the series. Last night’s game being postponed is pretty frustrating. I have to admire the media guys who have been here throughout - it must get pretty tiring after a while, although I’m sure most of them are more accustomed to travel than I.

It’s a great event. Crowds have been pretty amazing. There hasn’t been as much sheer craziness as I expected, but I did pass by a fan lying on the ground yesterday who had to be carried off by his friends. (Not even a millennial, but an older guy.)

I’ve included a gallery of some of the better shots so far.

Warren Buffett taps Lee Enterprises to manage many Berkshire newspapers | Business |

Nebraska: Omaha World-Herald, The Grand Island Independent, Scottsbluff Star-Herald, The North Platte Telegraph, Kearney Hub, York News-Times

Buffett taps Lee Enterprises to manage many Berkshire newspapers | Reuters

Buffett lamented at Berkshire’s annual meeting on May 5 that only the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and perhaps the Washington Post had found digital models to overcome declines in print ad revenue.

Lee Enterprises teaming up with BH Media to manage Berkshire's newspaper, digital operations | State |

She added: “This is an attractive strategic alliance for Lee, as it enables us to generate more cash flow, speed our debt reduction, enhance our industry leadership and further advance our abilities as we introduce our digital and print strategies at BH Media properties. Also, we are honored to be trusted by Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, among the most admired business icons in history. The publishing business is in transition, to be sure, but we remain positive about our future, as many print opportunities remain and digital audiences and revenue continue to grow and flourish.”

Imagine being a media guy and waking up to this news this morning. Lee Enterprises owns the Lincoln Journal Star. BH Media owns the newspapers you see under the top link in this section.

Basically, Lee will manage the newspapers. Does this effectively mean we’ll see the merger of the Omaha World Herald and Lincoln Journal Star somewhere a few years down the road? It seems like a definite possibility. What will happen to the newsrooms? I imagine that the OWH will see more people cut, which isn’t the best for news reporting, but would be good for Lee’s shareholders.

I don’t mean to be rude to the LJS and OWH sportswriters, but you have a lot of overlapping coverage right now. Take this to mean that they both write a lot of the same stories. This is to be somewhat expected - game recaps are game recaps, and most of the time when the UNL Athletic Department does a press release it shows up in both newspapers (as it does here) as re-written content.

I have no idea why someone would choose journalism as a profession anymore. There seems to be way too much instability, way too much uncertainty about your future. I get that some are “called” to that profession much like some feel a duty to serve as police officers, firefighters, in the service, or in clergy, but holy cow, it’s got to be a tough living.

One of the things about being here at the CWS - I get to talk to a lot of other photographers. There are some who are fortunate in that they work for organizations like ESPN, where they have a decent budget, but there are plenty who are not in that situation. The gear is expensive - most of those big lenses you see photographers carrying run from $8k-$10k used, and the camera bodies that go along with them run $3k - $6k. Basically, guys are carrying $15k-$25k equipment around with them. You cannot afford that unless you’re with a large organization and those budgets are being cut all the time.

What’s the future hold for all this?

Crappier news coverage. Crappier sports coverage.

I don’t see any other real option here.


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Fifth day of weather issues creates 'most challenging College World Series' for NCAA | CWS |
“This has been the most challenging College World Series as it pertains to inclement weather,” he said.

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