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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

Today I’m a discussion leader for the American Press Institute’s Digital Delivery seminar. The morning program I’m involved in is The Battle for Local: Crowded, Competitive, Hyperlocal. I’ll be mentioning several resources for the seminar participants, and I’ll share them here.

Of course, I’ll be discussing TBD at some length.

Of course, I will be talking about the Complete Community Connection. (more…)

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Details mark the great writers. Like this tidbit in an obituary by Kay Powell:

In fact, after she was widowed, there were 13 toothbrushes in her bathroom, all kept there by people who regularly enjoyed her company.

The detail tells you about the person who died and shows you why Kay is a journalism treasure. (more…)

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I don’t expect newspaper companies to follow the advice I offered Wednesday for a new business model for obituaries. Why should newspapers start following my advice now?

So I’ll turn that advice around and suggest that it could work for journalists who have retired, accepted buyouts, lost jobs staff cuts, or are still seeking to break into a shrinking news business. (more…)

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Monday night I criticized a Pennsylvania newspaper’s plan to charge loyal online readers to read the obituaries. Today I want to suggest a more innovative, future-focused approach to obituaries.

I was interested that Ernie Schreiber, editor of the Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era, cited my Newspaper Next experience in scolding me for Monday’s post. He clearly had an awareness that N2 was about innovation, but (like many of his peers in the newspaper business) he did not learn the core principles of disruptive innovation that we taught in N2.

One of the fundamental lessons of N2, based on the disruptive-innovation research of Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen, was that innovation opportunities rest in identifying “jobs to be done,” needs people have. Innovators who provide welcome solutions to those jobs are on the path to success, Christensen says. (more…)

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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. I posted his response as a separate post, because I think it’s fair to give him his say uninterrupted. But he raised points that demand or merit a response on my part. So I respond here, republishing his email to me again in full, this time with my commentary interspersed:

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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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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Update: Ernie Schreiber, editor of the Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era, has responded to this post. I encourage you to read his response.

If I were seeking to kill off newspapers (I’m not), I would try to persuade them to charge people to read obituaries online. Apparently that’s the plan of Journalism Online, a profiteer seeking to cash in not only on newspapers’ death wish but on the deaths of their readers.

Journalism Online’s sucker in this fantasy-based paywall experiment is the Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era (oh, the irony in that name; I will call it the Old Era for purposes of this blog). People who read more than seven obits a month at the test site, LancasterOnline in Pennsylvania, will be denied access unless they pay $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year. (more…)

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