Two Fatal Mistakes of Newspaper Industry

Paul Gillin, a consultant who specializes in community journalism and social media, recently penned an instructive column in BtoB on the demise of major metro dailies and other newspapers:

Learn from newspapers’ mistakes

The first mistake was the “failure to respond to changing media consumption patterns.”

“The best response would have been for newspapers to localize their products,” writes Gillin. “Instead, they consolidated.”

(Note: Some tried. The Seattle Times Company, a longtime client of mine until 2007, experimented heavily with zoned editions and tried to enhance local content.)

“The industry’s second mistake was failing to see the implications of new technology,” adds Gillin. “What executives didn’t foresee was that technology would democratize media.”

Gillin calls democratization the dominant trend in media for many years to come. Brand will matter; delivery channels will be less important.

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