Neil Chase knows the painful realities of managing and motivating a daily newsroom in 2018. “You can’t ask dedicated, veteran career journalists to completely change the way they work without explaining why,” the Mercury News executive editor said at a panel discussion I moderated at Stanford two weeks ago. (The panel’s fitting title? “The Last Stand for Local News.”) “So I shared some very simple charts with the newsroom, showing the decline in our circulation and staffing over the past decade, and how that trajectory would put us out of business in the mid-2020s if we don’t make some drastic changes. We then started talking about reorienting the newsroom to serve a digital subscription audience, and we’ve made major progress since.” Chase knows that his staff can still churn out great work, as do many of the 23,000 or so remaining journalists in U.S. daily newsrooms. But Continue reading "Newsonomics: Newspapers are shells of their former selves. So who’s going to build what comes next in local?"
The Failing New York Times released its third-quarter numbers this morning and, well, if the rest of the news industry was doing this well, we could shut down Nieman Lab and grab some worry-free beach time in warmer climes. Its ongoing transition from print to digital revenue has been managed without the staffing disruption just about everyone has seen, and it continues to see significant jumps in paying digital subscribers, seven years after launching the paywall and two years after its initial Trump bump. It’s doing fine. Take 98 percent of whatever energy you devote to worrying about the future of the Times and rechannel it into worrying about your local daily, which is very likely approaching existential crisis. The Manhattan-based news-and-crosswords concern now has 2.54 million paying digital news subscribers, with another half million for its various other non-news products. Digital subscription revenue topped $100 million for the
Continue reading "The New York Times is on pace to earn more than $600 million in digital this year, halfway to its ambitious goal"
Editors have long had to battle deadlines on election nights across America — pushing press runs to the last possible moment in order to get the most complete results into the next morning’s paper. Print is many things, but it isn’t a great real-time medium. Now, though, Gannett is throwing the digital switch. Across its 109 local markets, readers will be directed — starting this Sunday, as editors are being urged to prepare readers in advance — to head to its digital sites for results. The idea: Recognize and act on the cultural changes — among readers and in newsrooms — to embrace real-time media for real-time news. (And save a little money on newsprint.) When long-time readers of the Des Moines Register, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, or Fort Myers News-Press open up their papers Wednesday morning, they’ll see hardly anything in the way of results. They may Continue reading "Newsonomics: “Digital defeats print” is the headline as Gannett steps away from printed election results"