Ah, hindsight. If newspaper editors had to battle the digital beast all over again, would they have picked another strategy?
A new report by Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab suggests it could have been different indeed. Here’s six quick takeaways from editors reflecting on their former papers:
My new mantra for the newsroom would be we are a digital news operation with a print component. We are not a print newsroom with a digital component.
— Timothy Franklin, The Baltimore Sun (now at Bloomberg)
Any newspaper without strong investigative reporting is on the verge of becoming irrelevant.
— Ronnie Agnew, The Clarion-Ledger (now at Mississippi Public Broadcasting)
I’d start using photos taken by readers
— Mike Pride, former editor of the Concord Monitor
Almost everyone is overlooking the “people piece,” meaning the newsroom staffers who should care deeply about the quality of their work and feel good about it every day
— Skip Perez, former editor of The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla.
I would lead a crusade to convince journalists in the newsroom that they can no longer expect someone else to solve their problems.
— James O’Shea, LA Times (Recently of the Chicago News Cooperative)
We are surprisingly weak at facing down the stares from within our own newsroom .. I should have been braver at recognizing the difference between a reverence for the past and a reluctance to face the future.
— Amanda Bennett, former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer
The rest of the Nieman Lab’s good work can be found here.