The News Blueprint
Over at Recovering Journalist, Mark Potts offers a terrific seven-point plan for newspaper innovation. As Mark himself notes, there’s nothing particularly new in his advice. But it’s thoughtful and well said, and bears repeating, because it’s a way forward instead of an invitation to stare into the abyss or a call to rebuild what’s been pulverized. These are turbulent times, and we need posts like this to make sure we keep on moving instead of hunkering down.
The only thing I’d add to Mark’s plan is implicit in a lot of what he proposes, but I think also deserves emphasizing: We should be investing and experimenting in community-building. Newspapers need to grow online communities around their refocused content, creating the digital equivalent of the offline communities of readers for which they were once social glue and civic habit. Only by doing that can newspapers trade the minuscule returns from search’s drive-by traffic for repeated views from a loyal, engaged community. And only once those communities exist can newspapers find new ways to make what they do pay.