Industry veteran Steve Outing, with slight exasperation, posts a very sound series of proposals to help the newspaper industry. Outing is getting quite tired of the defeatist attitude and quite worried about the strategies he's seeing to combat the challenges.
"While a sour economy is clearly a big part of the problem, the biggest problem is that the industry’s leaders seem to think there are no good solutions other than wading in the ocean and pushing back the waves (i.e., tectonic changes in consumer behavior and advertiser spending patterns)," he writes.
Among his ideas in a nutshell:
1. Focus on the future, digital, and not on entrenching the print edition.
2. When the time comes, cut print editions.
3. Stop shipping papers long distance.
4. Get a mobile strategy.
5. Dump the listing pages of stocks, TV and movies.
6. Adopt an agency approach to help advertisers navigage. Offer free classifieds, but upsell for features.
7. Create a membership for the paper.
8. Permit more people to contribute and to be compensated for it.
9. Innovate in the digital advertising sphere.
10. Stop behaving as if other print media are competitors, start collaborating.