Newspapers, whaling ships and oil drilling

The above is the short version of the Michael Rosenblum speech to the Society of Editors. The speech has deservedly created a lot of viral buzz and blogging and if you’re just stumbling upon what he said, listen to the short version at least. The long version is in part 1 and part 2 and there’s a third link on some additional thoughts of Rosenblum from his speech.

It’s inspirational. It’s visionary. It’s cautionary.

I don’t see many signs, however, of newspapers companies wholeheartedly embracing his approach toward change even as the economic downturn accelerates and desperate measure begin to look, well, not so desperate after all.

Quickly changing is never easy for mothership-size media properties. They are attempting to manage the decline through expense control and many incremental changes, precisely the type of change Rosenblum eschews.

He says:

In short, make your paper into the video information and public discussion node for your community.

As the Jerry Reed lyric goes: “We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.”