Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NDN- "Wrong-Headed?"

There is an interesting online article by Jim Brady, former exec editor of the "Washington Post" entitled, "Why A New (And Unusual) Pricing Strategy By A Rhode Island Paper Will Fail." The title kind of says it all.

While praising the local rag (NDN) for at least trying a unique strategy to increase their income, "But to me, this model reeks of desperation. It’s as if, having used all of its bullets in the battle to preserve print revenue, Newport has now decided to throw its gun at the problem.

He points out that you can obtain local news on the web for zilch from a number of sites, including yours truly.

"In my view, young readers today aren’t anti-newspaper; they’re pro-web. Now, they can get deep, detailed information on any topic they choose. They can get a variety of views on issues that matter to them. They can find and interact with people who share their interests and/or ideologies. They can engage in direct discussions with journalists and newsmakers alike. And they can get it all whenever and however they want it. Young people don’t rely on the web for news because it’s free. They rely on the web because, collectively, it provides them with a better, more personalized experience than they could ever get from a one-size-fits-all daily newspaper. Add in the environmental concerns that many now have with the physical newspaper, and it’s easy to see why newspapers are in the trouble they’re in."

He's hit the nail on the head; and it's not just those young readers either. If ever there was a time for the NDN to develop a strong online presence, this be the time. Or someone else will beat them to it & leave them nowhere else to go in the future. Will their new strategy be a sucess? Yup, they'll say that it is. But down the road.... And I want them to suceed.

"To me, this strategy is even worse than a Hail Mary pass: It’s a Hail Mary pass that, even if completed, still leaves you on your own 20 yard line."

And where did I initially find this out- online, of course.
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