6 Responses to “The Newspaper Reinvention Kit: 4 Easy Steps To Becoming A New News Organization”

  1. Steve Gardberg

    Will there be a new news org from each current mainstream media outlet in a given city? You're talking about too many websites with redundant content (news and service journalism).

    We might see a realignment of "media" ownership for these websites so newspaper, TV and radio reporting/editing resources contribute to the same website … with 2-3 major websites per city. These websites are differentiated by what matters to the major audience segments, ie. point of view — high brow vs. low brow, not NYT vs. local NBC vs. NPR. And that means revenue sharing has to be figured out.

    Also, I suspect the local new news org will not be profitable if producing national and international news. Might be best to buy that from the preferred sources, ie, NYT, Dow Jones, AP, ESPN

  2. Lots of good stuff, but one fundamental flaw – Step 1. The basic reason that no local media can claim much success online is the separation and duplication of work based on distribution. All local media – Print, TV, Radio – are (at the least theoretically) doing the same journalism, just using different distribution to deliver it. Digital Media changes that, and requires you to define yourself by the market need you fill, not the way you deliver your product. Until news organizations get that – get that it's all "news," with some getting delivered through traditional means, some through digital means and some through both – you will always have silos, redundancy and missed efficiencies. The digital group should not be separated. It should be visibly placed in the middle of everything, with the expectation that it's integral to meeting the needs of the audience. In a perfect world it would simply be another form of distribution – just another part of a larger whole, where a news organization understands all the tools at its disposal to get information to the audience in the fastest most relevant way. No Sr VPs on Digital Media, no Chief Digital Officers. Journalists working for a News Director that understands how to deliver news to the marketplace.

    The last line is probably accurate, though. It's going to take a new creation to make that happen. The incumbents have proven to consistently not understand the first, most basic point.

  3. Stephen Pinches

    I agree with a lot of this, but there are issues too. The whole point of a newspaper, like a university, is that it can create something of a zone of objectivity – albeit massively compromised in most cases.

    Getting your local OB/GYN to report on parenting issues, or your local police chief to report on policing has to be very carefully separated from the 'core' reporting which is done by full-time reporters who have a separation from what they are reporting.

    "Make it easy for the passionate to get heard" sounds good in theory, but substitute "passionate" for "opinionated" and this is something very different. Too often the debate is defined by those who shout loudest or have the largest axe to sharpen, and it's not necessarily local news's job to give them the access they crave.

  4. Great post – I agree that aggregation and providing links to sources from around the web is essential for providing context to users (they also help SEO, pageviews, revenues etc). A lot of newspapers have started doing this. But curated aggregation and more sophisticated topic pages are probably whats going to differentiate the winners (here's a innovative/curated topic page: http://bit.ly/4DuIIe).

    With regards to APIs and opening up data, the Guardian and NYT have embraced this, but I'm yet to see many others jump on this train. Would love to see more of these rich APIs that can be mashed together – no doubt amazing things could emerge.