If You’re Going Out of Business Anyway…

Why wouldn’t you try to stop it? The answer in the newspaper industry, at least according to Mathew Ingram in GigaOM yesterday is culture. The newspaper industry has been circling the drain as the shift to free/cheap classified advertising has ravaged a key revenue stream and the inability to keep valuable content behind the paywall has enabled more nimble competitors to monetize make money with the content.

The fear, which is common to all companies/industries that are facing the choice of cannibalizing their model or being eaten alive, is that their strategic direction might be wrong and the decisions might hasten the inevitable.

So you’re in battle, pinned down and outnumbered. No reinforcements are on the way. Sitting in place will definitely get you killed, although it might take a bit. The correct action is fire and movement. That means taking tactical action right now, even though it might result in your demise.  Even if there’s a 90% chance your tactical solution will fail, there’s a 100% chance of failure if you do nothing.

What’s the solution that will save newspapers as a source of quality journalism? I have no idea, but I do know that doing nothing will result in the ultimate failure of what used to be called print.

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