You’re a journalist. What would you do if you lost your job tomorrow? For many journalists – including me – this isn’t a hypothetical question, and it’s why I urge you to have a Plan B.
Never have we had so much choice in terms of news, information, music and entertainment. The democratisation of production brought by digital technology has made it easier than ever for people to create content, but it has also made it more difficult than ever to get paid to create it. This cannot last.
In a recent piece for The Media Briefing in the UK, I ask the question about which newspapers will survive. It is doubtless that newspapers are under pressure right now, but after nearly two years managing a group of small newspapers for Gannett, I realised that there are actually some newspapers that have a real fighting chance to survive. What things do they have in common?
Back in March, I said that I was hiring, looking for journalists ready to create the future of media, and now I find myself looking to my future. On Tuesday, my position was eliminated with immediate effect. I’ve been at the cutting edge of digital media for two decades, and if you need a proven digital media leader, let’s talk.
Tom Grubisich of hyperlocal news analysis site, Street Fight Mag, says that to save local journalism, we need not only revenue but also vision. Grubisich lays out one vision. The one challenge with these grand visions for local media is that editorially they stil need to be relevant in the communities that they serve.
City University London journalism professor George Brock has criticised Trinity-Mirror’s Newsroom 3.1 plan saying that their focus on metrics has been discredited. Metrics aren’t bad in and of themselves, but George is right to point out that volume metrics alone – clicks and unique users – aren’t enough.
As of Monday, I am now overseeing a group of four Gannett newspapers in Wisconsin. To bring this group together and deliver the kind of engagement, innovation and growth I’ve delivered in my first year overseeing two newspapers, I need three strong newsroom leaders and five reporters.
After seeing a Longreads post about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ comment section, spoken of as Jay Rosen says, now mostly in the past tense, I wonder if comments can actually withstand the Google-scale audiences. Are there any strategies that can allow a single focus comment section to grow beyond its initial community by choice?
Local print journalism is challenge right now for fairly obvious reasons. Print is declining, and while digital audiences are rising for many local outlets, a local audience does not reach the scale of the internet giants or digital news start-ups. We have to develop business models that don’t rely on scale.
The week before Christmas was the 107th anniversary for one of the papers I edit, the Sheboygan Press. We decided to create a vintage stye commemorative edition using stories from throughout more than century of history. It was fun and novel, and it was a big hit with readers and our advertisers.