3 Strategies for Solving the Newspaper Problem

2 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

It has been awhile since we talked about newspapers.

To recap, they are still struggling. And there is not a shortage of armchair publishers offering their ideologies and suggestions about how newspapers can regain their footing and rebuild their empire.

At MarketWatch, a site which follows business news, personal finance information, and offers real-time commentary and investment tools and data, they asked three media experts -- Larry Kramer, Lauren Rich Fine and Nathan Richardson -- to offer their assessments of the problems of newspapers and what can be done.

Each expert honed in on a different issue, from monetizing content, to charging for online content and handling change. 

Understanding Advertising to Drive Content

Larry Kramer, founder of MarketWatch, says the news industry has to wait for "the advertising world to better understand how to help their clients make more money by advertising on interactive platforms."

Having never charged enough to cover costs to begin with, newspapers need guidance on how to best capitalize on the behaviors of their readers. On the web, newspapers can track what their readers are after and as a result can customize, optimize and strategize their content.

Newspaper Blitzes and ISP Fees

Lauren Rich Fine, research director of ContentNext Media thinks that "newspapers have been pretty bad about asking to get paid, whether print or online." For print, she recommends a newspaper blitz so as to "explain their economic challenges and see what folks are really willing to pay."

Learning Opportunities

For online media, an ISP-generated fee, which charges media partners who produce the content might work, provided that a majority agree.

Change and Adapt

Finally, Nathan Richardson, chief executive of ContextNext addresses the bigger issue facing newspapers: change.

He says that companies must be open to "changing their business models and news-gathering operations to adapt to the times: smaller newsrooms, leaner print production, outsourced content -- citizen journalism, newswire services in some instances -- and open minds to monetization methods."

Sound Advice for Newspapers

None of these observations offer a specific 'how-to' for saving the newspaper industry. Rather, it's strategic and sound advice from those in the know.

Yet no matter how experienced, only those in the thick of the publishing industry have the ability to impact the future of the news.

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