Audience Planbook: A Step-by-Step Plan to Transform Newspapers

I *am* a Digital Alchemist, after all...

I *am* a Digital Alchemist, after all... (click for larger image)

It is my hope that the recent trend of newspapers actually dropping their guards a bit and talking to each other (and who knows – maybe even cooperating a little) is going to increase.  Not just because it’s nice to see all the kids in the sandbox play nice, but because this looks like the only way the industry is going to come out the other side of this crisis.

I’ve just looked at this Planbook again, and counted the pages.  More than 100. Gads. I can’t believe I actually edited this thing and it came out coherent.

There’s a lot of content there.  I’ve tried to break things up as much as I can, and to provide shortcuts & bullet points to make the info-uptake as smooth & easy as possible.

But I kinda feel like Winston Churchill in the spring of 1940, promising the listeners in a famous radio broadcast, “Blood, toil, tears and sweat,” but also conveying, through the iron certainty in his voice, that there was a way out of the crisis, and that they would “never surrender.” He had a vision – one Big Thing – and he stuck to it.

I am often asked if I think there is any kind of a future for the newspaper industry. Usually the question is accompanied by lifted eyebrows, and the kind of tone you use on a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

Well, break out the tinfoil hat.  Yes, I think newspapers have a future.  I even think that there will be ink-on-deadtree editions.

They are just not going to look like the things we’ve all known our entire lives.  Which is OK.

I grew up with music on LPs and 8-track tapes. Moved to cassettes and CDs. Now it streams into my computer through a cable modem.

Musicians are still creating and I’m still listening and feeling uplifted/inspired/touched/angry/exultant.  Journalists, photogs, videographers, etc., will still keep capturing the little slices of reality for their audiences.

Please go to the Growing Audience blog and add your thoughts, comments and experiences to the mix.

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