The Cost of Doing Newspaper Business: $238K

Posted by andreaitis on February 24, 2009

Duluth News Tribune awarded training grant

The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program has given the Duluth News Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication a total of $238,000 to help retrain the newspaper staffs.

Huh.  That was my first reaction.  Just…huh.  Then I read the story. Advertising is mentioned 7 times.  Internet is mentioned once.  Web and mobile?  Zero mentions.

I get that it’s a business. Of course we need to figure out how to make the news (overall news, not newspaper) business work.  And, we certainly need to bridge the gap for advertisers, to help them move from traditional to digital opportunities.  That is a true and noble goal.    So if that’s what this grant is all about, then let’s just be honest about it.  After all, isn’t that part of the training, too?  And while you’re at it, maybe set aside some of that grant time and money to think about how it all fits together, now and 25 years from now.  It won’t be “computer programs” … And about that consumer feedback?   Happy to hook you up with some open source forums and polls.   All free.   ;-j

I underlined some of my favorite passages below:

Now the two newspapers and journalism department will begin working on what ought to be studied. Those involved say it’s likely to be a mix of learning new computer programs to help sell advertising and tell news stories, and fundamentally rethinking how to deliver news and advertising.

“There are all kinds of ways we can use it,” said Peter Passi, a business reporter and president of the Lake Superior Newspaper Guild at the News Tribune. The idea of applying grew out of negotiations between the paper’s owner, Forum Communi-cations, and the union last year, Passi said.

Rob Karwath, executive editor of the News Tribune, said he envisions money going toward rethinking how to sell new products that deliver news and advertising to readers, and setting up methods to increasingly receive feedback from customers.

“I think it’s primarily rethinking what we’re doing, where we put our people, and where we put our efforts,” he said.

Aaron Becher, advertising director at the News Tribune, said he hopes the money can help create more of a lab-type experience where advertising staff can train to sell new kinds of advertising products in an in-house practice system before taking it to actual customers.

Duluth News Tribune awarded training grant | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: