On the great scale weighing two alternative futures of the newspaper business, Journal Register has had all its weights on one side. Print is dead. Go digital first. And fast. It’s an attractive message. It’s a vision, after all. As the rest of the industry meanders toward a digital future, these folks are racing ahead. For the […]

Vigorous, but not vicious. Interesting, but not sensational. Fearless, but fair. They were core values for The Detroit News — in 1916. Are they appropriate standards for the 21st century? I recently came across a style book, dated the year before The News moved into its present building, that gave a detailed explanation of the […]

While print advertising has seen a precipitous fall (see previous post), perhaps the news of most immediate concern is that online revenue growth slowed to a near standstill in the first quarter of 2012, according to new numbers from the National Newspaper Association. Online ad revenue for newspapers went up just 1% in the first quarter, the fifth straight quarterly slowdown […]

The recent publication of Mary Meeker’s graphic showing how much money advertisers spent on print compared to how little time readers spent there sparked discussion and debate throughout the industry. It’s “the one chart that should scare the hell out of print media,” Poynter.org declared. The implication, countered in part by Derek Thompson of The Atlantic, is that dollars now spent on print may soon […]

Last week’s news that the New Orleans Times-Picayune would reduce print publication to three days a week and reorganize as a digital-first media company was met with hand-wringing, blame and much time spent discussing what we’re losing. Yes, of course. Who isn’t lamenting that it’s come to this? In the meantime, there’s been too little celebration. Why celebrate? […]

Home of Venetian printer Aldus Manutius (pictured) If you’ve never read it, there are some interesting thoughts in Clay Shirkey’s 2009 blog “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable.” Among them: “Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound […]

The cuts of the last three years, plus generally improving economic news, have led some to believe that the worst is behind print newsrooms. Consider this a wake-up call. The worst is not behind us. Not unless we proactively chart a new course. Print circulation continues to decline, advertising tends to follow suit and there’s […]