Jack Schafer has a complete breakdown of how the newspaper industry tried to reinvent the web, and ultimately as a whole failed. Before I link to it, I have seen some fantastic examples of the news industry successfully reinventing their product. My opinion is that by adding bloggers to the mix (Blog Jockeys), there was a personal connection. It also helped spotlight crucial news stories to their readers.
But that’s not the case, and I think I know why: From the beginning, newspapers sought to invent the Web in their own image by repurposing the copy, values, and temperament found in their ink-and-paper editions. Despite being early arrivals, despite having spent millions on manpower and hardware, despite all the animations, links, videos, databases, and other software tricks found on their sites, every newspaper Web site is instantly identifiable as a newspaper Web site. By succeeding, they failed to invent the Web.
And then there is this from the state of Tennessee, where I reside, from a blogger named Truman Bean.
The final straw finally came this past weekend, with the delivery of the Tennessean’s Sunday edition. Picking it up in the driveway, it seemed lighter and smaller.
That was indeed the case and this was the reason why….
Go read why Truman said goodbye to his daily dose of newsprint, which editors and publishers really should read.
As I’ve written here before, I do believe that editors, publishers and journalists need to be reading what worked, what didn’t and the consequences that come from a changing media.
And I do believe both of these stories are connected mainly because this year is going to be huge in A.) setting up an advertising base for the web (although this has been ongoing for years. And B.) Readers are being outspoken. Truman’s wife is headed to the free stuff on the web.