News of the Death of the Newspaper Greatly Exaggerated
In his recent Lunchbox/Soapbox address, Bruce Guthrie, former editor of The Sunday Age, The Age, Who Weekly, the Weekend Australian Magazine and Wish, gives his take on media old and new and on the Australian Murdoch press in particular. He describes the early years of web journalism in Australia as lacking in imagination – a fatal flaw in the new digital journalism environment, according to the authors of a major new report released last month.
Authored by Columbia University’s Bill Grueskin and Ava Seave, The Story So Far: What We Know About the Business of Digital Journalism recommends that “companies ought to regard digital platforms and their audiences as being in a state of constant transformation, one that demands a faster and more consistent pace of innovation and investment.” The report foresees journalism as a profession that will continue to face resourcing shortfalls indefinitely: “Journalists must be prepared for continued pressure on editorial costs.”
The report recommended that online newspapers no longer publish shovelware, that they develop more nuanced relationships with advertisers, that they embrace content aggregation but enhance their own original content, that they get used working in a leaner resourcing environment, that they invest in multiple mobile delivery platforms, and that paywalls be introduced alongside an enhanced content experience. Here’s some analysis by Forbes blogger Nathaniel Parish Flannery and a slightly more critical response from Reuter’s Felix Salmon.