When interviewing new candidates for web related positions in our company, I often ask them how they keep up-to-date with what's going on in the industry. Of those who do read regular news publications, blogs, websites, etc., most can’t name the publisher.
What's more, even our clients whom we ask for reference of their industry publications can't seem to name many. The reply we generally hear is, "I don’t remember which website, but I get it from my "x" reader." If you take a closer look at RSS or other types of feeds that push news items, many tend to hide or diminish the focus of the brand. I use an RSS reader on my desktop and Google Reader on my phone. In both instances, the publisher's reference is in small text and seldom highlighted. In the days before the web, the medium was also part of the branding. For instance, with Canadian newspapers, and there are only a few major ones, the style, paper, formatting, etc., all correlate to the brand. You knew what paper you're reading without glancing at the headline. However, when it comes to the webs feeds, the branding is barely given any regard, while the tactile sense is completely absent from this equation. For myself, I tend to only take a closer look at the publisher or writer when I need to cite or conduct more research. I believe it's important that the publisher of a news publication, blog, or website be adequately identified and remembered. To accomplish this, I would suggest that both the Feed Readers and publishers work on giving more focus to the publisher's logo and name. It may become necessary to include the publisher's name along with the writer within the article as a way of reminding the reader which online publisher they are reading. Here's to hoping that more people know where they get their online news from!