Take a look at Chronicle editor Mary Morgan’s column on the state of the Ann Arbor News. , check here it out here.

Here’s an excerpt of her advice for the News. [Note: this is condensed. Morgan elaborates on each recommendation in the column]:

No amount of spin will change the realities confronting The News, but there is hope. A smaller newsroom could produce a smaller newspaper that’s a must-read, tightly focused on local news and events. But to do that, the paper’s leadership needs to overhaul its own approach to doing business. Here are a few places to start:

* Don’t treat readers like idiots. Don’t tell people they’re getting more when they’re clearly not.
* Don’t try to be everything to everyone.
* Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you don’t tell your story, someone else will.
* Get out of the office. Like anything else, loyalty is built through relationships….Speak to community groups, reach out to people you don’t already know, make sure all the senior managers are involved in as many different community efforts as possible.

2 Comments

  1. The news is starting to do some nice things with its Mlive product, but why they waited around for so many years and let free online want ad companies like Craigslist eat their lunch is beyond me. Dinosaurs! They might still have a chance if they get with it.

    Another example of waiting until it is (almost) to late is Kodak, they waited until film was all but done until they got in to digital sensors and now seem to be doing some innovative things.

    • Greg (MVictors)

      I spoke with Phil Callihan of umgoblue at one of the games this year, probably Utah. He was told me about how he met with some of the media during a stadium tour and they discussed websites and web content. He said they asked him how many photos from the day he was going to put on his website, he said, “all of them”. Then he said they asked him how long content remained on his site and I think we both said in unison, “forever!”. We talked further on how much of our traffic, thus revenue, starts with archived pages. I think they are just starting to realize that website space is a cheap commodity and how to properly archive, although MLive has a ways to go.