Print is dying

What if? … The NY Times ended its daily print edition

8 min read

Stop the presses! (For 6 days a week!) … Yes, I’m being serious. The recent New York Times “Innovation” report, a meant-to-be-internal strategy document proposing a (long-overdue) digital-first future for what is arguably the best newspaper and digital news operation on the planet, painted a depressing picture. Despite beefing up its digital business and creating…

NYT Innovation report

NY Times: Another myopic dinosaur that needs to go digital first?

3 min read

You’ve likely seen the “leaked” New York Times innovation-strategy report produced by an 8-member team of NYT employees, presumably for management and internal consumption. (The unabridged version appeared on the web, initially via Buzzfeed, just as executive editor Jill Abramson was getting fired last week — perhaps not coincidentally. The report is dated March 24,…

Money wall

Paywalls in my back yard: A forecast for newspaper business models

7 min read

It’s now been many years that I’ve been writing and opining about “paywalls” for news websites. It’s not a subject that’s going away, although living in the Boulder-Denver, Colorado, media market, I haven’t had to deal with paywalls myself. Until now. Both the Daily Camera (my local newspaper/news website in Boulder) and the nearby and…


Have we hit rock bottom with local news yet?

6 min read

While I’m usually on top of news-industry news, I confess to not spotting this until today (thanks to Journalism That Matters‘ latest newsletter): an indicator of the plummeting quality of some (maybe many) newspapers after years of cost-cutting. Can it get much worse than this?… On November 6, 2013, the day after Election Day, the…

Jeff Bezos

4 things that Jeff Bezos can do with the Washington Post

7 min read

Since founder (and multi-billionaire) Jeff Bezos isn’t talking specifically about what he’ll do now that he’s agreed to purchase the Washington Post and related properties for $250 million, it’s fair game for media pundits to speculate. And have they! Like everyone else, not having the opportunity to pick Bezos’ brain directly about his plans,…

Follow the leader

10, 15 free web articles a month: Is this a mistake? (Yes!)

6 min read

I think it’s safe to say that what Walter Isaacson and Steven Brill started — a wave of newspaper websites putting up “metered paywalls” where there’s a subscription or membership fee required for site visitors who want to read more than X number of articles per month — has taken hold in a big way….

News box

In defense of fewer print editions

8 min read

So much has been written about the New Orleans Times-Picayune cutting back to three days a week for print publication (and laying off a bunch of employees in the “digital-first” transition) that I hesitated adding to the word onslaught. But I haven’t seen many people defending the move, which results in the largest major U.S….

Don't block people with a "wall"; entice premium users in.

It’s not a ‘paywall’ when it’s ‘freemium’

6 min read

The word “paywall” as applied to news websites sucks. It’s a negative word. If a consumer hears that a favorite news site is putting up a “paywall,” the response is highly likely to be: avoid! Some news-site user monetization systems truly are “paywalls.” I’m fine with saying that The Times‘ (the UK one) website has…

Can good journalist + good capitalist = possible?

5 min read

This month’s Carnival of Journalism, hosted by Michael Rosenbaum, asks the provocative question: “Can a good journalist also be a good capitalist?” I’ll probably open myself up to charges of being “ageist,” but here goes… Working at a university journalism program (University of Colorado Boulder), I’ve come to the conclusion that the next generation of…

My name is Steve, and I have failed #jcarn

1 min read

I don’t want to break my record of contributing to all of the resurrected Carnivals of Journalism, but this month I’m just too darned busy. However, a few years ago, I did write up the lessons I learned from a start-up company where I was one of two co-founders: the Enthusiast Group. It was published…

Tomorrow’s the day: NYT ill-advised paywall debuts in U.S.

7 min read

Monday marks the rollout of’s “metered paywall,” which I wrote about (and criticized) here last week (before going on vacation for a week). Here are a few quick developments and additional thoughts about what is an important milestone in the digital-news space: What do you think of the NYT paywall? Tell Columbia researchers! Columbia…

NYTimes’ new pay model: They blew it!

5 min read

If any non-niche, general-interest news organization could successfully pull off a digital “metered paywall” model, I thought it would be the New York Times. Alas, today the Times announced its plans and pricing, beginning March 28 in the U.S. (and being tested first in Canada). I’m disappointed. This is really a bad move that shows…