A couple of articles worth your while regarding the financial troubles of newspaper industry and what has brought them (in part) to this point:
The Fed shouldn’t save newspapers because they “are not too big to be allowed to fail.” (Newsosaur)
American journalism is in trouble because of “editors and reporters focused more on winning prizes or making television appearances.” (Walter Pincus, Columbia Journalism Review)
Posted in media criticism, news industry, Newspaper industry, newspapers, Out of print, Print Journalism
Tagged Alan Mutter, Columbia Journalism Review, Journalism, news industry, Newsosaur, Newspaper industry, newspapers, Walter Pincus
Alan Mutter explains why newspapers have it all over Amazon’s recently released Kindle DX, a larger version of the electronic tablet.
Nothing beats the convenience and portability of a well-organized newspaper.
A newspaper requires no batteries or AC current, can be read anyplace in all-but-blackout conditions, can be folded (unlike a jumbo Kindle) for convenient transport, can be clipped for coupons, can catch canary poop and can be responsibly recycled into cute flower pots (see below) in a way that electronic detritus cannot.
Plus, you can’t smash a bug with Kindle.
One of my favorite media bloggers, Alan Mutter (aka Newsosaur), lists the 10 blogs he turns to for info about the media biz.
No, this isn’t stock advice. It’s more of a logical extension of Alan Mutter’s criticism of the newspaper industry for failing to do what Google did: understand how to make loads of money on the Web:
The airwaves have been clogged in the last couple of weeks with newspaper people alternatively blaming Google for the industry’s problems or begging Google to come to their aid.
Google isn’t responsible for saving the newspaper industry or journalism. Publishers and editors are. …
… For the record, newspapers actually had a head start over Google. But Google “got” the web. And newspapers didn’t. That’s not Google’s fault. …
… For an excellent example of the sort of opportunities missed by the industry, look no further than this tale of how the Boston Globe blew the chance in 1995 to buy a significant share of Monster.Com for a comparatively modest $1 million.
Or, ask yourself why Dow Jones, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, never started its own online stock site. Instead, Dow Jones waited until 2004 and spent $520 million to buy MarketWatch, faithfully printing stock listings in the newspaper all the while. …
… None of this is Google’s fault. Blaming Google won’t help.
Imagine if instead of cannibalizing each other and going into severe debt, newspapers had purchased the very technologies that now threaten to put them out of business.
I know what you’re thinking (cause I”m clairvoyant like that): “Not again. Not another post on how to save newspapers.” Ah, but this one is pretty darn good, tapping into the wisdom of 10 experts who offer advice on how to keep the presses rolling. Here are a few of the highlights:
On reinventing the core product:
Leonsis: [Develop] a core competency in ad sales so that the organization can represent other local media companies to build scale and create mini advertising.com-like businesses in each market.
On the audience for newspapers:
Mutter: Editors and publishers need to adopt a zero-based, market-driven approach to what they do. They need to learn to ask their readers and nonreaders what they want—and then respond creatively to the answers.
On the role of the print product:
Hall: Print is good at the things the Web is not good at—watchdog, explanatory, enterprise, narrative storytelling. The two media complement one another. One is the flowing river, changing constantly; the other is the rock on the shore, fixed and solid.
On reinventing the newspaper to work in concert with online offerings:
Posted in civic journalism, investigative journalism, news industry, Newspaper industry, newspaper websites, newspapers, newsroom layoffs, print advertising, Print Journalism
Tagged Alan Jacobson, Alan Mutter, Charlotte H. Hall, Howard Weaver, Ken Doctor, Newspaper Association of America, Newspaper industry, newspapers, online advertising, Online journalism, print ads, Ted Leonsis
About an hour ago, the Wall Street Journal reported on a bill introduced in the Senate that would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits:
Under the legislation, newspapers would operate as nonprofits, having 501(c)(3) status. This equates to newspapers operating for educational purposes, similar to public broadcasting. Doing so would prevent papers from making political endorsements, but they would still be allowed to openly report on all matters, including political campaigns.
If I find any buzz around the Web on this, I’ll be sure to let you know. Yep, there’s buzz:
Posted in headlines, news industry, newspaper bankruptcy, Newspaper industry, newspapers, newsroom layoffs, nonprofit journalism
Tagged Alan Mutter, Newspaper industry, nonprofit newspapers, Reflections of a Newsosaur, Sen. Ben Cardin, Wall Street Journal
Remember Kachingle, the voluntary payment system Steve Outing touted as an alternative to micropayments, and which I wrote about here? Well, Newsosaur Alan Mutter, who touts a micropayment system, writes that the projected revenues from Kachingle wouldn’t add up to much except at the most popular news sites:
Alan Mutter has a plan to make readers pay for content, Michael Kinsley thinks micropayments are crazy, and Steve Outing says there is another, better way.
Mutter’s solution is a system in which users would pay for premium content by clicking a button that accesses accounts funded by their credit cards:
Posted in news industry, Newspaper industry, newspapers, online advertising, Online journalism, Print Journalism, The Internet
Tagged Alan Mutter, Editor & Publisher, Kachingle, Michael Kinsley, micropayments, Newsosaur, Newspaper industry, Online journalism, premium content, Slate.com, Steve Outing, Walter Isaacson