When AnnArbor.com replaced Ann Arbor News as the Michigan town’s news source, the Web site offered readers a new way to view their news: visitors to the free site can submit comments and vote on articles, propelling them higher on the page and increasing their visibility in a blog-like responsive forum.
But the interactive Web site has experienced technological problems in the first week after its launch. On Thursday, the site announced it had resumed regular posting after a server problem suspended news updates from 2:30 am to 10 am, and on Wednesday, the site apologized for broken and mislabeled links. Staff members posting updates on the issues referred to them as “growing pains” and “hiccups,” but they promised readers they would improve:
We know that’s not acceptable. We’re now working as hard as possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
But as other newspapers look to AnnArbor.com to assess online-only news coverage, the recent problems could provide a deterrence if technology proves untrustworthy. Or newspapers could harness the Internet and adapt to new media so they can deliver the news to their frustrated, tech-savvy readers.