By Steve Outing
OK, we have a little clarification about last Thursday’s behind-closed-doors American Press Institute Crisis Summit of 50 newspaper company CEOs. You’ll recall the brouhaha over an API staff summary of the 7-hour event, which concluded with, “Participants agreed to reconvene in six months, and to explore additional collaboration.” That got a bunch of people upset (including me): What?! You’ve been told your industry is in serious crisis and many of your companies are on the brink of bankruptcy, and you want to wait 6 months?
But here comes explanation from Donna Barrett of API (which she posted in the lengthy comment thread of my previous blog item):
“I am one of the CEO participants and an executive officer of API. The API report got it wrong. No newspaper executive in the room suggested that we wait six months to meet again. When someone said we should have a timely follow-up, the facilitator said, ‘Like in six months?’ and was quickly told by the participants that it needed to be much sooner than that. There are other problems with the report. It is a poor reflection of the event, which I believe was over-hyped from the beginning. The forum was a constructive dialog between newspaper executives, period. This is all anyone should have realistically expected to accomplish in seven hours.”
Thanks for the clarification and insight, Donna. (This does demonstrate the dangers of closed-door meetings, where people start to form opinions based on limited information of what went on.)