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Smartest man in the World has the solution to the problem of Newspapers!

Saul Colt, in his blog today, has done it!  He has the solved the problem of newspapers.  And the answer if 3D!  Hmmm… I’m having a “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” flashback. Wasn’t the answer  42, and not 3D… anyways…

Saul Colt’s Blog, the “Smartest Man in the World” wrote today in his blog that newspapers need to focus on 3D or 3 Discussions.  His posting is  http://saulcolt.blogspot.com/2010/06/solution-to-problems-of-newspapers-is.html .  The gist of his solution is that newspapers need to focus on balanced reporting.  As long as they are one-sided in their reporting, newspapers ” as a whole will not fulfill the unspoken promise of reporting a story.”  Certainly, most of the newspaper journalists I know are trying to write balanced stories.  However, I expect that many newspapers, tabloids and magazines are, in fact, not interested in the slightest in balanced reporting.  I imagine National Enquirer, Us, or the Globe would be strangely dull and boring, and worse, riddled with the truth.  While they might  “fulfill the unspoken truth”, they would likely lose their core readership or be out of business in no time flat.

As to being  the solution to the problem of Newspapers, it likely wouldn’t slow the slide in circulation, end the bleeding of classified revenues, balance the discrepancy between print and online ad revenues, reverse the trends of lower ROP ad  revenues, won’t make the Internet go away, or get back all of the  journalists who have lost their jobs to industry down-sizing over the past 15 years. But, it is the ideal that they teach in Journalism school, and maybe for those papers that have lost their way, it is a good place to begin. For most newspapers, it is probably a much more complex and varied set of solutions.

Huh? What do you think?

My blog has to begin somewhere….

I have had many reasons to think about the role new media is playing within and around Old Media — particularly newspapers — over the past 10 years. Newspapers were kind of “Social Media 0.5”. Until about 10 years ago, newspapers were pretty much the only voice in the average community.

Now, the cost of publishing has decreased to nearly zero. These days, virtually, anyone can step up to the digital soapbox and start speaking. And, what’s more astounding there a simple, but effective, ways to build an audience for just about any message.

Most newspapers spent quite a few years trying to avoid the impact this social media was having on their business model and their subscribers. In the coming years, newspapers will need to embrace completely new (to them) ways of listening and talking to their audiences.

As many have speculated, some newspaper may die off in the near future. But not all will go away. Some will embrace the new opportunities and will figure out how to adjust their business model accordingly. With growing examples, like the Huffington Post, showing how journalism, UGC, and news aggregation can co-exist and flourish.   Interesting times for the poor old newspapers.

I have an interest in exploring how the best and worst in newspapers make that transition (or don’t).

If you listen to some of the chatter on Twitter these days, one would think that there is no role for newspapers in the future world.   Clearly, classified sites like Kijiji and Craig’s List have taken a big chunk out of newspaper revenues.  Do you believe that citizen journalism will do likewise to traditional journalists?  What is, or should be,  the newspaper game plan (Newspaper 1.0) going forward ? And, what should the future newspaper (Newspaper 2.0) look like ?  Huh?!  Some many questions and so few answers.  This was a good idea for a blog.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  I look forward to our conversation.