Attention Newspapers: Don't 'Just do it.'

Posted by andreaitis on June 15, 2009

MediaShift’s Mark Glaser twittered the top 10 list below while he was hooked up to an iv,  stuck in a hospital bed for several days.   When I see stories like this, I tend to replace Newspaper with News.    After all, the paper is the platform; news will endure.  Newspaper/hospital  metaphor notwithstanding,  though, number 6 caught my eye.  A single sentence: Don’t do it just to do it.

Don’t let desperation or emotion drive decisions.   Don’t jump on a bandwagon because everyone else is jumping.  Don’t lose the essence of good reporting:  be curious, ask questions, piece together a cohesive story, ask more questions, look at the facts, strive to understand.

Don’t do it just to do it.

10 Steps for Saving Newspapers

1. Do custom small print runs targeted to neighborhoods and interests. Not daily.

2. Support local writers, reporters and bloggers; help market them, sell their ads; decentralize the operation.

3. Replace circulation, printing, print production staff with tech, SEO, community managers.

4. Find out what the community wants in real face-to-face meetings, not focus groups. Then do what they want.

5. Use pro-am methods. Include community-contributed content edited and vetted by pros.

6. Smart multimedia. Don’t do it just to do it. Use the right medium to tell the right story.

7. Promiscuous revenues. From ads, niche paid content, donations, non-profit grants to directory listings.

8. Produce mapping and database projects. Employ or train hacker-journalists.

9. Meet regularly with local businesses to gauge their needs. Create online directories of local businesses.

10. Create a bottom-up organization where innovation is encouraged and rewarded at the edges. Use good ideas from anyone.

via MediaShift . 10 Steps to Saving Newspapers | PBS


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