Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable?

Super smart blog from Clay Shirky on why the newspaper industry (which I’ve worked in, briefly at EMAP through the early 90s recession, before leaving to help set up a current affairs magazine Red Pepper) doesn’t get the internet.

Ah, it’s all about advertising. Now the secondary effect of the big recession is causing huge job cuts in the newspaper industry. Who knows what the future holds, but I like Clay’s emphasis on the value of experimentation. What I would say is that fortunately and in hindsight logically I did my experimentation while times were good, so I can take a good job now and enjoy it. It’s tough to start experimenting when times are bad.

What the newspaper industry kind of did was experiment while times were good too, but in a defensive way. Those newspapers that tried more positive work though when times were good, the fruits of which are probably in the heads of staff who’ve not had a voice until now, stand the best chance to reap the benefits I would have thought.

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