November 2008

  • Shopping for readers: a proposal for local news

    As she often does, Amy Gahran got me thinking today, this time about the average-at-best job local news organizations do covering consumer news. She asks whether news orgs could focus on shopping year-round, and not just on Black Friday, to do a better job of offering utility to readers. The short answer: yes. The long […]

  • The revenue slide gets steeper

    Alan Mutter was paying attention when The NAA tried to quietly dump its latest revenue numbers on the afternoon before Thanksgiving. And what he saw was grim, including continued falloff in all categories, and the second quarter in a row of declining interactive numbers. The performance in the third quarter was affected only partially by […]

  • Jarvis offers a year of good ideas, summarized in one post

    Yesterday, 140 characters at a time, I hacked into Sam Zell and his far-ranging interview with Portfolio as signifying a man who is 1. very good at identifying the newspaper industry’s problems but (and this extends to his key advisor Lee Abrams) 2. woefully inept at articulating real responses to the crisis (other than to […]

  • A cry from the heartland: “Don’t let newspapers die”

    Thanks to Journalism Iconoclast (Pat Thornton), I just found the “Don’t Let Newspapers Die” Facebook “cause” page. My first thought, especially after reading point #3 (“Newspapers are cool!”) was that this was a big fat furry sock-puppet created by the NAA. But instead, it appears to be a genuine effort from an Indiana mom. Who […]

  • Print less to save the paper and the business

    This is just about the most challenging and possibly true sentence I’ve read in weeks: Two fat newspapers each week and a robust web platform will have more impact than five or six skinny papers and a site that’s not foremost in the newsroom’s mind. Martin Langeveld, who blogs at News After Newspapers, makes the […]

  • Let’s put the government in charge of journalism!

    Writing in The Mediashift Idea Lab on, David Sasaki wins the award for the longest argument yet in favor of government funding of the failing journalism business. I try not to get into outright arguments here, but this seems to me to be a really, really bad idea. You can’t micro-manage every single industry […]

  • There is great hope for journalism in people like David Cohn

    Recent posts have been especially dark on my part. Which isn’t entirely representative. I believe that journalism – especially that journalism practiced by the organizations that today publish daily metro papers – is essential, and can have a very bright future if we stop thinking about the last 150 years and focus on maybe just […]