About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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« Truly Viral | Main | For Crisis Sake »

November 13, 2008


Chuck Peters

Mark -

As I noted in Complete Community Connection, at http://cpetersia.wordpress.com ,I am going to try to put the Summit into context, but appreciate your frustration. We have to figure out how to have the right conversations with the right people so we can make progress without all trying to invent the wheel.


I suspect newspapers will fail because they are NOT in the news business. Not anymore.

You know how some Republicans say they did not leave the party, the party left them when they began courting the religious right? Perhaps something similar happened to newspapers.

Decades ago newspapers went corporate. What do corporations want? Blandness and consistency. No surprises, no controversy. In other words, the opposite of news.

Rajiv Vindaloo

Two thoughts...

1) One of the biggest problems with journalism is that almost nobody except the "big names" is allowed to be part of the conversation ... and that INCLUDES those precious few who get the titles of "firebrand" and "big thinkers" bestowed upon them, like Jarvis, Outing et al. I don't know who is eventually going to lead our industry out of this mess, but I do know one thing for certain: it won't end up being any of the "insiders" like them. And until the conversation and brainstorming is opened up to a far wider audience, the industry probably won't find a way out at all.

2) Tho quote is from Ronald Reagan, and it's about why he left the Democratic Party. Blind ignorance of how roughly 50% of the public thinks is, well, roughly 50% of the reason we're in this mess to begin with. We ostracized half our potential audience before technology mattered a whit.


Rajiv/Repub quote: Right you are! Thanks for the correction.


Mark, I read the Peters Twitter reports, plus the API's own version:

and I'll be damned if I can figure out either what was said or what was resolved. Seems there was agreement that it was a crisis, although someone felt it was just cylical not structural and everything will be rosy once the economy straightens out. I find this to be typical API.


I watched Michael Rosenblum's video. It was excellent.

two big takeaways:

1. Newspaper companies think they are in the newspaper publishing business when, infact, they are in the news business. They should be looking for the richest and most efficient way to deliver news in a format that readers want. Until they "get it" they are doomed to fail.

2. His comments on giving each reporter a camcorder and going out in the field is right on. I have a reporter who's begun doing that and she now submits her articles with a video. Our readers love it.

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