We have been having an interesting discussion on the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force listserv. The discussion is about Rupert Murdoch announcing that his media properties will move to the paid content model by July 2010, according to Time magazine.
And like everyone else, we're trying to discuss how to monetize the current journalism model so we can all keep our jobs. So it was interesting to come across this post from the Mashable blog - "12 Things Newspapers Should Do to Survive." You can read the list at your own leisure, but a few of the suggestions, written by Columbia University grad student Vadim Lavrusik, struck me.
Suggestion #2 - Go Niche - is something that trade and B2B publications have already been doing. He cites Politico.com as an example, but I wonder how newspapers could make that work without alienating the readers they still have left that rely on general news.
Suggestion #4 - Journalists as curators and contextualizers - is one I like, and 1 I do every day on my own company's web site. Traditional newspapers have been loath to offer links to other publications considered competitors, but what I've learned is that when I offer the link love, my competitors actually return the favor.
Suggestion #9 - Investing in mobile: E-Readers or smartphones - is another good idea. I have a Blackberry Curve smartphone and an iPod Touch, and I use them both to peruse publications including USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. And have you seen the new iPhone NPR News app? It rocks, and will be a game changer.
Suggestions #10 and #11 - Communicating with readers and Building community - have become key for me in my work day. I reply to every comment on our blog and interact with readers on my company Twitter account (@avweekbenet) and Aviation Week Facebook Fan Page. I also try to meet with readers at industry events to put faces to names.
I'm not saying that all these recommendations will serve as the magic wand that will instantly fix the print journalism industry. I'll end this post with some food for thought from my friends over at the Techdirt blog: Why Newspapers Are Failing (Hint: Failure To Get Users To Pay Is NOT The Reason). Enjoy!