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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Gray’

Thanks to Justin Ellis of Nieman Lab for a thoughtful two-part analysis of Newspaper Next. He went into much more detail, with greater detachment, than I did in my look back five years later at N2.

What I would like to see now is an analysis of the innovative projects inspired by Newspaper Next.

In the first part of Ellis’ N2 analysis, he addressed whether N2 succeeded in transforming newspapers:

So did Newspaper Next succeed in its mission to reshape the industry? Not exactly.

We’re still in the thick of uncertain times in the news business, but invention has crept into certain corners. Newspaper companies are experimenting with apps, testing new platforms, and publishing niche products (online and in print) to reach audiences outside the daily newspaper. That’s all straight out of the Newspaper Next playbook — but it’s doubtful newspaper execs would have sat by idly if a report five years ago hadn’t told them to try to develop new products. Publishers, editors, executives, and other journalists involved in Newspaper Next say the project deserves credit for encouraging experimentation inside newspapers. But with all its reach and ambition, the project was stifled by economic factors, including the industry’s near extinction-level event in 2008 that saw massive losses in jobs and revenue. As much as Newspaper Next set out to give news companies the tools to transform, survival may have been a bigger and better motivator.

In the second part of Ellis’ analysis, he followed up on the seven demonstration projects covered in the first Newspaper Next report. The direct lasting results were not impressive: (more…)

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Howard Owens gives a great explanation of what makes his journalism venture successful. But he mistakenly extrapolates to some rules about what other entrepreneurs should not do.

I recommend reading Howard’s post Forget “value-added journalism” — Think, disruptive innovation and Kevin Anderson’s post Journalism: What added value will add revenue? Howard was responding to Kevin, so I suggest reading Kevin first, then Howard, then coming back and finishing this.

Howard understands correctly that his venture, The Batavian, is succeeding with a simple formula of providing lots and lots of community news. He isn’t “adding value” with many feature stories or investigative journalism that would take considerable time. Instead, he says, he is following Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation formula by providing just “good enough” quality, but lots of it. (more…)

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