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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Mutter’

Whew! Publishers are expecting the plunge in newspaper advertising revenues to level off next year. Maybe now we can stop the bleeding and not feel so much pressure to change.

Or can we?

Alan Mutter wrote yesterday of the publishers’ projections in his Reflections of a Newsosaur blog, asking, What the heck are publishers thinking? He cast doubt on the publishers’ projections, reflected in a survey by Kubas Consultants.

I sarcastically tweeted: “Wonder what these optimistic pubs predicted for 2009,” then went on with whatever I was working on at the time. But I wondered it again today when a couple more people tweeted about Mutter’s blog and the Kubas survey. So I stopped wondering and called up the Kubas report on what the publishers expected for 2009. (more…)

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I was unable last week to watch the unfolding coverage through Twitter and media web sites of the Fort Hood shooting.

I was traveling Thursday and teaching Friday, and simply couldn’t follow all the developments as the “facts” of the story kept changing. While I’d love to comment on the story and the coverage, I don’t like writing unless I am better informed. So I’ll just call your attention to some commentary I read on the the shootings and the coverage: (more…)

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While I am critical of the Columbia University report, The Reconstruction of American Journalism, I am pleased that it has stirred debate about the future of journalism. Here are the most interesting takes I have seen on the report by Columbia journalism professor Michael Schudson and former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr:

Tom Grubisch ripped into Downie and Schudson in OJR: The Online Journalism Review, calling it the kind of “shallow analysis that typically informs newspaper editorials on big issues.” Be sure to read Robert Niles’ comment. He sees Downie and Schudson as speaking for news industry leaders who “chose to ignore, marginalize or even demonize voices who argued that the news industry must change its procedures, in both editorial and business operations, to compete online.” Now, Niles says, “top news company managers are working their way through the stages of grief.” The Downie/Schudson report, Niles said, represents the stages of anger and bargaining. (more…)

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The Midwest Newspaper Summit confirmed my view that the Complete Community Connection offers the best path to a prosperous future for news media companies.

I heard some good ideas discussed at the meeting, and the best possibilities for generating new revenues were ideas at the heart of the C3 approach.

The summit, sponsored by seven state press associations, drew more than 250 people to the Grand River Center in Dubuque. I can’t remember the last time I attended a newspaper industry meeting where they had to set up additional chairs, but they did. Jo Martin and Jennifer Asa of the Iowa Newspaper Foundation deserve great credit for planning, promoting and presenting the program. I posted more than 100 tweets from the summit on Thursday, so I won’t try to recap here. Instead, I will give my views on how the key points of each speaker will contribute to that search for a prosperous future: (more…)

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To read all three of my “mobile-first strategy” posts as a pdf with a table of contents, scroll to the bottom of this post.

When I try out a new app for my iPhone, I think of opportunities the news business missed years ago. More importantly, I think of opportunities we need to pursue today.

Many years ago, before the development of the World Wide Web, I was an editor at the Kansas City Star. Some critics fault newspapers for failing to anticipate the need to move into the digital age, but I remember a project called  StarText. We were planning to deliver the next day’s news stories electronically to subscribers the night before. The stories were just in text and you needed a  modem to receive them and few people had modems then. But we were making our first awkward moves into digital delivery of news. (more…)

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Howard Owens has weighed in with his view on what the newspaper industry’s “Original Sin” was in the early days of the Internet:

Alan Mutter says we screwed up by failing to charge for content. I say not only was that not a mistake, but many newspapers did try to charge for content. I have written that the Original Sin was that we “did next to nothing to explore how we might use this new technology to help businesses connect with customers.”

Howard, publisher of the digital startup The Batavian, contends that a greater error was keeping our online units “tethered to the mother ship.” Howard, one of the most insightful people working in digital journalism, makes an excellent case in his blog that we would have done a better job in moving into the digital age by spinning our web sites off into standalone companies. (more…)

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Journalists love stories. Give us a good anecdote and we know what our lead is going to be. We’re not as comfortable with data. We know a good story is hiding in there somewhere, but most of us don’t know how to find it. And too many of us — reporters and executives alike — are refusing to learn.

My first exposure to the use of data for journalism was when I was at the Kansas City Star (or possibly the Kansas City Times; I worked for both) nearly 20 years ago. The late Greg Reeves, a kind of geeky reporter I didn’t know very well but came to admire, wrote a terrific story about the driving records of Kansas City police. I don’t recall the details, but I was shocked at how many police had offenses such as reckless driving (I think drunk driving, too, but I can’t vouch for my memory over that many years). What I do recall is that I started to understand the power of data analysis. (more…)

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