Thursday, March 12, 2009

The future appears in Eastern Iowa

Not suprisingly it comes from a privately owned media company, away from the blablabla of the Coasts.

No comments from me. Click on the link to see why it's exactly the right solution, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Below is a snippet from: Transforming the Gaz:
"Unlike other newspaper editors, Lyle doesn’t supervise a single reporter or photographer. The reporters and photographers still work for me. However, we’ll simply call them all journalists now because they will perform more roles than they have in the past. (I’ll explain more about those new roles in the coming weeks.)

It has been clear for years that newspaper companies needed to transform their organizations. We were structured for decades as newspaper factories. Though we staffed our newsrooms with skilled professionals who became experts at specific tasks such as reporting, photography, editing or graphic arts, we were focused on producing a manufactured product each day. We had strict production deadlines and the amount of content we could publish was determined by the space available, which was heavily influenced by the price of a raw material, newsprint."

The following was added March 13, 12:40 PM EST.

A very good follow up was posted by veteran journalist Michele McLellan at the Knight Digital Media Center. The headline of the post is New role: Conducting an information orchestra

FYI, Michele is pro. Here's what find if you follow the link on her name.
Michele McLellan is a consultant who helps news organizations and journalism training organizations adapt in a rapidly changing new media environment. From 2003-07, she directed Tomorrow's Workforce, a $2.5 million Knight Foundation project that demonstrated the link between strategic newsroom training, newsroom culture and a news organization's ability to adapt and innovate. She is a journalist who worked for more than 25 years as an editor and manager in newspapers, most recently at The Oregonian in Portland, Oregon. A Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2001-02, she has taught journalism and journalism ethics nationally and internationally, developed online courses for News University, and is an author of two books, The Newspaper Credibility Handbook and, with Tim Porter, News, Improved: How America's Newsrooms Are Learning to Change. She has been invited to make presentations at the conventions of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Associated Press Managing Editors. She has been an Ethics Fellow and guest faculty in leadership at the Poynter Institute.

If you ignore the blahblah-o-sphere, Print is doing fine

Print was a monopoly market. Some publishing companies took on too much debt. But a lot of private companies didn't.
ATT used to be a monopoly market. Verison, Bell South, and the other Baby Bells are doing pretty well.

It's worth the click to read the whole story @MediaPost Today 03/12/2009:
"Other survey findings:

* 29% of respondents say a news website is the most indispensable news source, while 18% select print newspapers and 16% cite online newspapers
* 55% say they look at a printed newspaper each day, 53% subscribe to a print newspaper, and 83% say newspapers are still relevant
* 30% say news websites are their top source for updates, and 66% say that websites are among their daily news sources
* 65% of respondents find weekly news magazines relevant
* 29% of respondents read blogs multiple times a day, 8% read them once a week, 37% read them occasionally and 37% never read them
* 60% of respondents believe the information on blogs is not credible"

Monday, March 9, 2009

David Carr gets one out of four right

In today's NYTimes, David Carr offers four solutions to the "Newspaper Meltdown." As Carr, himself suggests one, two and three are in the realm of fantasy.

Number four makes good sense.
1. No more free content.
2. No more free ride to aggregators.
3. No more commoditized ads.
4. Throw out the Newspaper Preservation Act. Regulatory reform will allow the industry to consolidate to an economically feasible model and preserve newsgathering.

Later in the article he cites, "Philip Meyer, who wrote “The Vanishing Newspaper,” (who) concurs: “Technology has destroyed the monopolies that these laws were designed to regulate.”

It's not the fault of short sighted newspaper people. It's not that Print is Dead. It's not even the fault of the people who borrowed gezillions of funny money without a plan in place to pay it back.

The present situation is the result of technology that has destroyed monopolies.

Once competition enters the game, all the rules change. As newspapers learn to play nicely with the internet, they will regain an important, profitable, but no longer monopoly position. When the laws change to recognize the new situation, it will be alot easier to get from here to there.