Monday, January 23, 2006
Jeff Jarvis posts on what newspapers must become
Source: Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine
"Here's another in a very occasional series of posts suggesting how to change newspapers, all tagged and headlined "NewNews." ... In this post, I'll look at what newspapers do not need to be; in a future post, we will look at what they do need to be. Newspapers waste too much money on ego, habit, and commodity news the public already knows.
In an era of shrinking circulation, classified, and retail ad revenue -- and in the face of shrinking audience and increasing competition -- papers have to find new efficiencies and cut these expenses to concentrate instead on their real value (which, I'll argue, is local reporting).
Newspapers also have to have the guts to stop trying to produce one-size-fits-all products that serve every possible reader and interest in one edition. When they were monopolies, newspapers tried to have something for everyone so they would attract the largest possible audience and assure their status as the marketplaces in their markets. But today, that can be terribly inefficient: What is the real cost of maintaining stock tables for the few readers who still use them in print? More on that below.
And newspapers have to take an even more frightening step: They need to start driving readers from print to online.
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