What's the problem? And what do we do about it?
Presstime, the magazine of the Newspaper Association of America asked 10 of us our thoughts on core mission, newspapers' wholesale scrapping of publication certain days of the week, audiences and the like. (For multi-taskers, podcast available on the same page.)
One of my favorite responses was that of Charlotte Hall, editor of the Orlando Sentinel. She took a naturalistic view of the differences between web and print publication:
It [the daily print paper] stops the clock once a day and takes an assessment, offering the kind of in-depth and analytical work that the 24/7 breaking news world on the Web cannot provide. Print is good at the things the Web is not good at—watchdog, explanatory, enterprise, narrative storytelling. The two media complement one another. One is the flowing river, changing constantly; the other is the rock on the shore, fixed and solid.
The "experts" are below, though, I'm getting the feeling the "expert" label is increasingly a relic, term of the pre-digital age. Expertise seems to last well less than 15 minutes.
Here's the list of those asked:
- Ken Doctor, blogger, Content Bridges (www.contentbridges.com); affiliate analyst, Outsell Inc., an information market analytics firm; and former vice president of content services at Knight Ridder Digital
- Mario R. Garcia, chief executive officer and founder, Garcia Media, a newspaper design firm
- Juan Antonio Giner, partner, INNOVATION, an international media consulting group in Pamplona, Spain, and blogger, What’s Next: Innovations in Newspapers (www.innovationsinnewspapers.com)
- Charlotte H. Hall, senior vice president and editor, Orlando Sentinel, and president, American Society of Newspaper Editors
- Alan Jacobson, president and chief executive officer, Brass Tacks Design, a newspaper design firm
- Ted Leonsis, founder, chairman and majority owner, Lincoln Holdings LLC, which owns the Washington Capitals and Washington Mystics, and vice chairman emeritus, AOL LLC
- Tim J. McGuire, Frank Russell Chair, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University in Phoenix, and former editor and senior vice president, Star Tribune in Minneapolis
- Alan D. Mutter, blogger, Reflections of a Newsosaur (http://newsosaur.blogspot.com) and managing partner, Tapit Partners, an information technology consulting firm
- Kenneth A. Paulson, president and chief operating officer, Newseum, and former editor, USA Today and USAToday.com
- Howard Weaver, blogger, Etaoin Shrdlu (http://editor.blogspot.com), and former vice president of news for The McClatchy Co. in Sacramento