Newspapers are all about storytelling and, yet, "with the crisis that we face as an industry, we don't do a great job of telling our very, very compelling story," Terry Egger, publisher and CEO of Philadelphia Media Network, told attendees at the Mega-Conference last week.
In his keynote address to 700 industry executives in Las Vegas, Egger called on newspapers across the country to establish conversations with local community and business leaders about the important role that newspapers play.
As an industry, he said we have suffered a lot of self-inflicted wounds. "We wish we had do-overs," he said, "but we don't. What we do have, though, is a compelling story that needs to be told."MORE
This may be my final blog post, for reasons I explain in its opening paragraphs.
So I'm using this last opportunity to sum up the huge challenge that faces newspaper companies – and the things I believe could possibly turn the tide from ongoing decline to growth.
It's a very tall order – but with the right leadership and commitment of resources, perhaps it could be done.MORE
Worries of impending layoffs, the frustrating search for a viable business model, concerns with all the stories they're missing thanks to smaller newsrooms. Sound familiar?
Recently, a group of 21 newspapers from around the country spent a few days at Poynter as part of the Local News Innovation program.
While nearly 100 editors and publishers were gathered together, Poynter asked a few of them some questions about their concerns, what they're excited about and what their staffs don't know about them. Among those interviewed was P.J. Browning, publisher of The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C., who is SNPA's treasurer.
Inventor Johannes Gutenberg failed 20 times when creating the printing press, but he saw its value. In comparison, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had followers within six hours because he understood social media's value.
The message that community newspapers also add great value to communities was one that presenter Penelope Muse Abernathy stressed during her "Thriving in a Networked Age" session at the 2016 News Industry Summit, held in September in Sarasota, Fla.MORE
For all the troubles they face, and they are legion, newspapers still enjoy what matters the most for any medium: the finest of audiences. People who read newspapers are the best-educated and most affluent of any community. They have the deepest roots. They vote, they sit on school boards, they own businesses and pay taxes.
And this remains so even after years of staff cuts at dailies around the country.
Papers all around the country are looking for ways to reinvent themselves in the face of the new and brutal economics of publishing. They're bringing in consultants. They're turning to think tanks.
Where they ought to be looking for inspiration and example is under their very noses, to America's small papers, those with circulations of 10,000 to 20,000.
Read more from Media Life.MORE
In this week's Futures Lab update, learn why small information websites may be the future of profitable news, how local news websites might attract more national ads, and what consumer brands can teach us about working with startups.MORE
In this week's Futures Lab update, hear about trends shaping news in the future and learn about a startup aimed at providing news and information to "the change generation."MORE
Here's a taste of what you'll hear in Chicago, Oct. 6-8:
- Walter Hussman reports on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's bold move to convert all its subscribers to digital subscribers.
- Recruitment guru Laurie Kahn on what newspapers need to do to assemble a team of sales superstars.
- The Post and Courier reveals results from the Google News Initiative – literally days after its conclusion.
- News from Washington on the newspaper industry's fight to get a fair share of revenue from Facebook and Google.Springs.
Read about the latest job openings posted on the SNPA website. And, send us your listings to post at no cost.More