The Digital Journalist came out with it’s most recent ‘issue’ today. One of the articles is quite phenomenal and well worth a read.
A starting quote:
The railroads did not stop growing because the need for passenger and freight transportation declined. That grew. The railroads are in trouble today not because that need was filled by others (cars, trucks, airplanes, and even telephones) but because it was not filled by the railroads themselves. They let others take customers away from them because they assumed themselves to be in the railroad business rather than in the transportation business. The reason they defined their industry incorrectly was that they were railroad oriented instead of transportation oriented; they were product oriented instead of customer oriented.
I’d be fascinated to hear a discussion on the topic of Newspapers as a platform. In my opinion, CoPress should be attempting to become the platform that all college newspapers are on. That means that collaboration is key. College Publisher attempts to do this, but fails:
- CP doesn’t really allow a way for you to pull in content of the ‘college newswire.’ We should build a system that can aggregate content and suggest to editors a selection of stories that they might cross-post.
- CoPress should get a small cut of the ad revenue of cross-posted stories. We can become a linking service. Do like politico, the content creator shares their content with whomever wants to cross-post, but gets a chunk of the ad revenue. Share content across papers, and we all thrive.
I’d really like to see a discussion in the comments below. This is a pretty radical plan that, while sounds logical, is gonna get a lot of bean-counters screaming. I know our business manger would hate this plan. In his mind, we’re first and foremost a newspaper. We should be in the newspaper business.
I refer you back to the trains. There is no newspaper business, there is only information media. If we, as an industry, can realize this, we stand a decent chance of avoiding the fate of railroads.