The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New-look Track Newsletter

Track & Field News has changed the format of its digital Track Newsletter. For me, it's a much-welcome change. For comparison:

Old version

New version

Note that it used to be results-only, while the new weekly newsletter now has photos and some articles. The change has been met with both congratulations and consternations amongst the regular online crowd. But those who worry are simultaneously neither living in the modern world nor remembering the past.

This is what T&FN used to look like a long time ago:

It was much like our new Track Newsletter. It was sent out biweekly during the peak season, which made the 1960s version more timely than the current mag--and they didn't have to compete with cable TV or the internet back then.

This is an indication that T&FN management has slowly begun to respond to its single biggest detraction, being slow. No one could possibly be interested in reading about a meet some three to six weeks after the fact unless you had Pulitzer-level writers doing the work (which the Mountain View gang certainly does not). ESPN launched its magazine ten years ago on the plan of no news, all previews, analysis and features. A niche publication such as T&FN can survive and even thrive if it takes that approach for the print mag while using the internet for superior collection and distribution of news and results.

Now, about CD-ROMs of back issues...that would be nice. As of right now, I guess I'll have to scan 'em myself.

No comments: