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Archive for the ‘Complete Community Connection’ Category

When I posted Newspaper charges for reading obits online: double-dipping on death, I invited Ernie Schreiber, editor of the Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era, to respond. His response is below. I responded separately.

Steve,

It’s disappointing to learn that when you left the newsroom, you left behind fairness, the bedrock of credibility in our profession.    As you well know, an ethical journalist reaches out to the subject of a story before publication of that story, not afterwards.  And an ethical journalist does not engage in silly name calling. (more…)

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Today’s blog post is not here but on TBD. I looked at this week’s coverage by the TBD Community Network, nearly 40 member blogs and sites, producing more than 300 posts this week.

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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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A Belgian “information designer” has offered some thoughtful criticism of my Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

I will address some details of the criticism from Stijn Debrouwere, who writes that he is visiting my former company, Gazette Communications, and read C3 as preparation. First, though, I want to thoroughly agree with Debrouwere’s primary point, that “Steve’s work does feel very much like it’s only halfway there.” (more…)

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From the day that Pierre Omidyar announced plans for a digital news organization in Honolulu, I have been intrigued by the project. Here was one of the most successful digital entrepreneurs, venturing into the local news field, where print-focused businesses were mostly failing dismally.

But it wasn’t just any digital entrepreneur. Omidyar was the founder of eBay. When I explained the direct sales aspect of my Complete Community Connection business model, I cited eBay as an example of the businesses that pioneered direct digital sales, while the newspaper business was stuck in its advertising model. I made the same point in discussing newspapers’ “original sin” of the Internet age and in discussing the future of freedom of the press. I thought Omidyar had as good a chance to figure out the business model for local news as anyone. I applied to be editor of his new project, then called Peer News. (I ended up at TBD and John Temple became Omidyar’s editor. But I continued watching closely, and when John made his first hires of “reporter hosts,” I  changed the titles for the community managers we were planning and called them community hosts instead.)

When Civil Beat (it changed names when it launched) debuted earlier this year, I was stunned and disappointed to see that it had a paywall. To get access to the full content, members have to pay $19.99 a month. I believe strongly (and have written perhaps too many times) that news organizations that charge for most of their online content are foolish. The prosperous future for digital local news, I believe, lies in assembling a large audience through content that is free or mostly free, and helping businesses connect with that audience in more meaningful ways than traditional advertising — with targeted ads and with opportunities to buy products, services, gift certificates and discounts directly from local businesses. I see the local news organization providing a digital marketplace for local businesses. Who better to develop that model, I thought, than the guy who owns PayPal? I was amazed to see Omidyar was using PayPal only to charge for content. (more…)

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This is the handout I prepared for a newsroom leadership workshop for the Maynard Academy today at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. Here are my slides for the presentation.

The business models that have supported traditional media for decades are breaking down. Some critical elements of the economic crisis:

The Complete Community Connection

To remain relevant for the future, journalists and media organizations need to master digital and social media and develop new revenue streams. My Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection proposes a new business model for community media companies. The core goals: (more…)

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Looking back over the past year or so, in many ways it was the most frustrating, disappointing period of my career. I normally would avoid looking back on it at all. I am a positive person and have been looking forward to a new job that has taken me out of the newspaper business.

But I sort of had to look back, mostly in surprise, when I learned in January that Editor & Publisher magazine, which boasts that it is “America’s oldest journal covering the newspaper industry,” was naming me Editor of the Year. The magazine announcing the honor arrives in newspaper offices this week, the week after I left the industry.

A year before I received the news, I was preparing to do two of the most difficult things of my career: (more…)

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We just sent out this press release. I am looking forward to meeting and working with Erik Wemple.

Arlington, VA, February 22, 2010 – Erik Wemple has been named editor of the local news startup soon to be launched by Allbritton Communications in the Washington region. Wemple comes to Allbritton after eight years as editor of Washington City Paper. (more…)

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Each time I take a new job, I think it’s going to be my last move.

I thought that when I came to The Gazette and gazetteonline as editor, and I thought that about the previous job and the one before that. And … well, a lot of jobs in the newspaper business.

My next job won’t be in the newspaper business. The news business, yes, but not the newspaper business. (more…)

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I’ve done the same exercise with University of Iowa students twice in the past week: I ask them to tell me about their media use over the past 24 hours.

I want to know how they learn about the world beyond their immediate circle of family, friends and faculty. I ask them to break it down by percentage among four delivery systems: mobile, desktop or laptop computer, broadcast and print. I write those percentages in four columns on a white board:

College students' use of media

(more…)

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Robert Niles is one of the sharpest commentators about digital journalism and the business of journalism. So his tweet last night caught my eye:

Deal with it – There is no new revenue model for journalism.

He linked to his latest post at OJR: The Online Journalism Review. He makes a lot of excellent points, as I would expect, and I will review some of them later. But I believe he is wrong on his central point: (more…)

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Reading your old posts, stories or columns can be humbling for a writer. Sometimes a post doesn’t seem as clever or insightful in retrospect as it did at the time. Sometimes something that was clever or insightful at the time appears less so in light of events since you wrote.

So I was a little hesitant when a tweet from Jennifer 8. Lee, a former New York Times reporter, prompted me to look up an old post from my Training Tracks blog at the American Press Institute, Why aren’t they using our pay phones?

Voicing a pet peeve of mine (that I have also voiced on Twitter), Lee tweeted:

hate airports where they make plugging in difficult. are charleston outlets deliberately wiggly, so laptop plug cant stay in? (more…)

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