Exponential growth

Exponential speeding up of disruption: It’s media’s challenge to deal with it

It’s fair to say that the majority of media executives, and practitioners too, have had trouble in the last decade-plus keeping up with the pace of technological advancements and the disruptions they’ve caused for media companies. It’s equally a fair bet that most of the aforementioned people expect digital-technology advances to continue, and for more…

A golden age for news start-ups? The impact of another newspaper bankruptcy

I can’t say I’m surprised that Denver-based MediaNews Group (well, technically its holding company, Affiliated Media Inc.) has said that it will file for bankruptcy protection. The Wall Street Journal has a report on the latest newspaper-industry dour development, pointing out that the Hearst Corp. has $400 million in equity and debt tied to MediaNews,…

At last, I can complain about E&P’s website!

Throughout much of my nearly 15-year gig as a freelance columnist for Editor & Publisher Online, I’ve cringed at its website. Now that E&P is shutting down (though with some hope of a last-minute save) and my “Stop The Presses!” column has ended its run, I’m free to stop the self-censorship. Actually, I don’t really…

3 links that explain Editor & Publisher’s demise

(Disclaimer: I worked as a contract or freelance columnist for Editor & Publisher Online from 1995 till this week, covering for the site and sometimes E&P magazine the intersection of newspapers and the digital revolution. I do not have inside information about why Nielsen Co. shuttered E&P, and the words below are strictly my opinion.)…

Are we watching a Tribune train wreck in progress?

I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about the chances of the beleaguered Tribune Co. in the Sam Zell era. On the one hand, I’ve applauded his (occasionally profane) approach of shaking things up and imploring the Tribune staff to think out of the box and start seriously innovating. There can be little argument…

Do not give up, dammit!

This bears repeating and spreading around. It’s a quote from Jay Rosen (NYU, Pressthink) that appeared on his Facebook status today: “News people who wonder why their industry gets creamed by Google and Yahoo are the same news people who dismiss an idea after it fails once.” He may be referring to the trashing that…

A smart and low-cost way to cover niches

Please take a look at my latest column for Editor & Publisher Online, posted today: “How to Create Killer Niche Web Sites Without Hiring.” I think the two initiatives I’ve profiled are truly significant innovations that can move the news industry forward. For lack of a better term, Examiner.com’s Examiners program and the Mail &…

Time to give up and retire?

How depressing. Did you see this Rick Edmonds post at Poynter.org? “Far-out Ideas? We Have No Far-out Ideas.” He reports on the Capital Conference newspaper convention in Washington, D.C. last week, where Anthony Moor (a smart and innovative guy now at the Dallas Morning News) asked some publishers on-stage: Can you each give an example…

Responses to a pile of critics

My April 1 Editor & Publisher Online column (not an April Fools joke) about ending my long-held subscription to my local newspaper’s print edition generated a fair bit of controversy in the form of letters to E&P. I apologize for not responding more promptly, but it’s been a crazy period for me. Belatedly, here are…

ABC News couldn’t ignore the outcry

The uproar over the performance of ABC News presidential debate moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday night was loud and furious. On ABCNews.com, as I write this there have been nearly 19,000 comments posted to the site — the vast majority of them, it appears, blasting the ABC personalities for focusing on political…

Don’t tell us about Kristen’s MySpace page, link to it

It’s beginning to feel like we’re getting somewhere on the issue of mainstream news websites linking outside themselves. Yesterday in a story about Elliot Spitzer’s alleged call-girl hook-up, “Kristen” (aka, Ashley Youmans, aka Ashley Alexandra Dupr√©), the Times linked to her MySpace page. Hurray! Linking offsite is a no-brainer for Internet native publishers. But it’s…

Journalists are pissed!

My latest Editor & Publisher Online column is up: “When Journalists Aren’t Happy, the Industry Isn’t Happy.” It’s about what we can learn from the rants that are filling up the new website, AngryJournalist.com. Enjoy. (This is actually my February column, delayed because of a weird e-mail problem where my messages to E&P editors didn’t…

Zell’s got it backward

The flamboyant new owner of the Tribune Co., billionaire Sam Zell, visited one of his properties in Virginia, the Daily Press, yesterday, and (according to this report) told employees this: Tribune’s smaller newspapers, including the Daily Press, would serve as a ‘petri dish’ of innovation, where new ideas would be tested and incubated before being…

Introducing GrowYourNewsWebsite.com

I’ve just debuted a new website/blog designed to be a resource for ideas, tips and advice for online news publishers. It’s called GrowingYourNewsWebsite.com, and it’s NOT another industry news blog. The focus is exclusively on advice. I hope you’ll find it useful. I soft-launched the site yesterday, so hardly anyone knows about it. I’d love…