Farewell, E&P: The last of my 14-1/2 years of columns

By Steve Outing

After writing a column for Editor & Publisher Online for so long (it was my “Stop The Presses!” column that served as the website’s main original content at the very beginning), it feels weird to have the final one published.

But it’s online, “Goodbye, for Now: Looking Foward.” (My editors rejected my apparently too-controversial suggested headline: “Stop a Lot of the Presses! (Farewell, E&P).”

There’s no place for online discussion of the column on the E&P site, so I hope anyone with an opinion on it will use the Comments area below this blog item to react to what I’ve written.

I chose to go out with a two-part list.

  • One is 20/20 hindsight fantasy: what the last 15 years should have looked like if only the newspaper industry’s leaders (and employees and outside analysists and pundits) had reacted to (and more effectively lobbied industry leaders on how to respond to) disruptive change properly.

  • The other is prediction: based on the reality of what did happen over that time and the decisions made, what can the newspaper industry expect next and what will the news eco-system look like.

I’ll continue writing on the future of news — and yes, expressing my opinions — on this blog. You’ll also start to see me writing on a blog associated with my newest project, set to launch in January 2010: the Digital Media Test Kitchen at the University of Colorado at Boulder. More on that very soon.

To any and everyone who spent any time reading “Stop The Presses!” over the years, thank you for spending some of your valuable time pondering my words. To everyone I’ve interviewed, thank you for sharing your ideas and opinions — and educating me on what’s to become of media in the digital era. And to my editors at E&P (present and past), thanks for allowing me this venue, and for your support over the years. Good luck!

7 Responses to "Farewell, E&P: The last of my 14-1/2 years of columns"

  1. Christopher Ryan
    Christopher Ryan 5 years ago .Reply

    Great column. You should have ended it with “200″, though, rather than the old ‘– 30 –’. (200 is the http status code for a web page sent successfully to a reader).

  2. Martin Langeveld
    Martin Langeveld 5 years ago .Reply

    Thanks for the Circulate link, Steve.
    I’ve posted my own predictions for 2010, and we agree particularly that mobile will be crucial to the survival of publishers, and that newspaper executive suites will finally see some shakeups. And mobile should be understood to include tablets, which are just around the corner.

  3. William Mougayar
    William Mougayar 5 years ago .Reply

    I’m sure we’ll soon read more insights from you in 2010. The separation of Journalism, Newspapers and News from each other is creating several opportunities for innovation and value creation way beyond the old vertically-integrated model.

  4. Glenn Fleishman
    Glenn Fleishman 5 years ago .Reply

    I was trying to explain to a colleague today, not a journalist, about how newspapers used to have 25-percent and higher profit margins, and how they earned untold billions for family owners, execs, and shareholders, and invested seemingly pennies in planning for the future.

    Ah, well, I guess the dividends were great while they lasted.

  5. Steve Outing
    Steve Outing 5 years ago .Reply

    Glenn: “The dividends were great while they lasted.” … What a fitting epitaph. Fits on a tombstone or a tweet!

  6. Glenn Andert
    Glenn Andert 5 years ago .Reply

    I’ve got a mobile publishing project that I’d love to get your feedback on. You can reach me at glenn.andert@gmail.com.

  7. Pat Egan
    Pat Egan 5 years ago .Reply

    Perhaps an “App Store” model for text will emerge like itunes did for music? (ie. buying a song vs. an album).

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