I have watched on twitter and reading other blogs about the demise of print news publications for too long. I decided to start one today when I got into a good twitter discussion with a talented Texas Tribune reporter about whether news media organizations should share their news. An earlier tweet from his coworker told me they had taught the next generation journalists that keeping news to yourself was “evil”. See the post here.
The time is now for newspaper people to start standing up for our medium. I own a group of newspapers in Texas and although my newspaper is not your typical daily (we are monthly, free , and mailed) my belief is that the newspaper business is not dead or even dying. Thus the new blog.
There is no question the newspaper industry needs to change course. I believe it is a simple refocus on the fundamentals. What we don’t need is a bunch of “new media only” folks who have never built a successful, profitable news model telling us what we should be doing. Quite frankly, the only news models that I have seen that are online-only can’t produce a steady profit and have only damaged journalism jobs.
I am sure I will later discuss the non-profit models (which I think have a chance) but if it is about making money – I am not a believer in the new media only model. And my belief system is not based on gut. It’s based on experience.
No question that sometimes I feel like Ken Olson who once said “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home” when I say Print Aint Dead. But I still think printed newspapers can deliver a stronger voice with the right distribution and can produce the best return on investment for the advertiser. We just need to go back to the basics.