Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Glenn Reynolds has a good piece over at TCS Daily and some recommendations for the dying newspaper industry. I like his third and fourth points, so I'll skip to those here:

Third, I'd stop insulting readers. As Malone notes, many newspapers lean left; they're out of touch, as numerous surveys demonstrate, with the attitudes of most Americans. Often, like George Clooney (spokesman for another declining industry), they celebrate this disconnect. They shouldn't. People don't like being preached to, or manipulated, and they are increasingly unwilling to pay for that now that they have alternatives. So stop; give them the news, with as little bias as possible.

Fourth, I'd get readers involved. I'd incorporate readers and bloggers into the reporting, fact-checking, and revision of news stories. I'd be generous about handing out credit, too -- people will do a lot for a little bit of ego gratification. With digital cameras, cameraphones, etc., all over, there's usually somebody on the scene when something happens. I'd take advantage of that. I'd also take advantage of readers with special expertise in particular areas -- in fact, I'd build a roster of those people and use them as color commentators on stories in their areas. If union rules interfered, well, see above.
(full article)

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