Friday, September 29, 2006

Time to consolidate print and online

I've been enjoying Steve Outing's columns for years, but this one nails an important issue for newspapers in a way few other writers have been able to articulate so succinctly.

Here's a choice quote:

"A huge part of the problem is that newspaper companies are still being run, mostly, by people from the print side -- and who, though they may attempt to understand interactive media and the needs and media habits of young people, aren't effective at moving their organizations in a radically different, and necessary, direction. That's because they're still too tied to the print business and thus are unwilling to go in directions that might damage it, even if in the long run placing more resources and executive energy into new lines of (digital) business at the expense of the print edition is the right way to go."

A number of Outing's interviewees suggested that newspapers need to consider putting online people in charge of the entire news operations. He recognises that this is still a very radical idea, and I agree that there aren't many news operations that would go there yet (are there any?), but I do believe it is unavoidable in the long run.

Update: Comments from Roy Greenslade and Andrew grant-Adamson and Matt Terenzio

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