Monday, June 30, 2008

Recovering Journalist issues Rx for the newspaper industry

Back in February I posted about some of the problems plaguing newspapers and offered up a few ideas on what the industry can do about it. Yesterday, a friend sent me a link to a post on Recovering Journalist that reflects some of my opinions, only more eloquently and with much more depth than I did. A sample:

1. Make the Web the primary product. Stop pasting the newspaper onto a screen. Reorganize the newsroom so that its work appears online as quickly as possible. Breaking news, enterprise and feature stories should be put on the Web as soon as they're ready. Period. The printed paper should be a snapshot of what's online at 11 pm, and that's about it. Publishing on the Web should drive priorities, not publishing in print. And embrace the technology: news Web sites should be full of Web 2.0 goodness like interactive maps, social networking tools, RSS feeds, distribution to mobile devices, etc. Use the medium to its fullest.
I disagree with one of the ideas in the post, however: RJ's call for the end of the editorial page. (I think the Journal Gazette opinion page is one of the best things about the paper, and it offers exactly the kind of hyperlocal coverage that RJ advocates for elsewhere in his post.) For the most part, though, RJ's Rx is just what the doctor ordered.

1 comment:

Douglas Karr said...

I'm not sure this will do it. There's still profit in a shrinking newspaper. I think the real opportunity for newspapers is simply to compete regionally. They have the talent and the resources.

They need to quit trying to build efficiencies into driving AP content to increase their page count and go for quality over quantity. It's the only advantage they have.