Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Newspaper Navel Gazing and Self-Serving Blogspeak

A couple of interesting items from Romenesko. Note to newspapers: evolve or die:

  • Representing "evolve": Departing Philadelphia Inquirer managing editor Anne Gordon sez newspapers are suffering the pain of their failure to innovate. She believes that there has been a shift in the role of newspapers. "I see print journalists playing an active role less in the breaking of news and more in the analytical side-explaining it." She is also a big believer in breaking down the barriers between reporter and reader, with more "give and take between provider and consumer." Also, she sees a future with handful of high-price superstar journalists and whole legion of low-priced spares. A reporter's deep knowledge of one subject will drive that value.

  • Representing "die": Retired Cleveland Plain Dealer editor Doug Clifton believes newspapers need to make money from online content distribution. He says he hears at least once a day someone saying: "I don't need the newspaper; I get my news from the Internet." He reminds readers that the Internet doesn't produce the content, it merely distributes it. "Newspapers will survive if readers pay them for their web content or if advertisers flock to newspaper websites in sufficient numbers to offset the revenue lost to the ink-on-paper enterprise. One or both of those options is likely to happen. If they don't, newspapers - and the journalism they produce - could die."
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