Archive for June, 2010

A common lament about efforts to develop new business models for news is that digital journalism can’t generate the revenue that newspapers used to.

Let’s set aside that digital journalism doesn’t have the production and distribution costs of newspapers. Let’s set aside that news media companies have barely started to explore the revenue possibilities of direct sales, local search and other possibilities I explored in explaining the revenue approach of my Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

In advertising alone, opportunities loom as promising as the revenue streams that historically supported newspapers. (more…)


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I’ve written a lot about my views on mobile opportunities for news organizations. Today I want to share some other people’s thoughts on the topic.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt declared in February that “mobile first” would be the new mantra of his company (I wrote in November that news organizations should pursue a mobile-first strategy). Schmidt repeated that point in April as the keynote speaker at the American Society of News Editors convention:


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Phil Corbett, the Standards Editor of the New York Times, has acknowledged in his After Deadline blog the attention his criticism of Times staffers’ use of the word tweet has received. (I blogged about it over the weekend, and he linked to my recent post as an example of the negative response.)

Interestingly, Corbett doesn’t really address the substance of the negative response, just repeats his memo to the staff (apparently that was a preview of his blog post) and his insistence that he didn’t “ban” the word. (more…)

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The Federal Trade Commission meets today to discuss whether and how the federal government should subsidize and otherwise support journalism.

I’ve already blogged (critically) about the FTC’s involvement in this issue and about two specific proposals for government subsidies, and I won’t repeat those arguments here. But I do want to call attention to some other good writing on the issue: (more…)

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In pursuing innovation, organization can distract from action.

Changing your org chart makes executives think they are making big changes. Changing what you do shows your staff and your community that you are truly making meaningful change.

I am pleased to see that John Paton is leading innovation at Journal Register Co. by changing what the company does. He has changed some people’s titles and shuffled some leaders, but those changes merit only brief passing mention in Paton’s blog. The focus of his attention and the company’s energy is on action. The Ben Franklin Project is entirely about doing things differently. The ideaLab is focused on turning good ideas into action. (more…)

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Self-anointed guardians of the English language show an amazing, amusing lack of respect for the language they purport to protect.

Phil Corbett, Standards Editor of the New York Times, decreed this week that tweet was not “standard English” and thus not fit for the news columns of the Times, except under special conditions, perhaps a doctor’s excuse or a note from the bird’s mother.

One of my favorite things about our language is how fluid, inventive and expressive it is. We don’t speak or write now as they did in the age of Chaucer or Shakespeare, or even in the groovy 1960s when I was growing up. Yet each new word or expression is vigorously resisted by people who cherish the past of language but wish to deny it a future. (more…)

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I haven’t had time to read this full piece myself yet (it’s long; I hope to finish it tonight), and I certainly won’t have time for a few days for a thorough blog post. But I want to call your attention to the most detailed, thoughtful piece I have read on the global mobile communication revolution (and the resulting opportunities for communication companies).

A tweet by Neil Perkin this morning brought my attention to Everything you wanted to know about mobile but were afraid to ask by Tomi T. Ahonen (whom I had not heard of before, but will be following and learning more about).

If you’ve read my posts on mobile-first strategy, I highly encourage reading this. Ahonen’s view is more global than mine and not focused on the news business. His broad view provides excellent context for my narrower view and his understanding is significantly deeper. (more…)

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