I want to give you more, not less. I don’t think McDonalds will
assume that as long as you keep it in a yellow box, people will buy a
smaller, drier Big Mac. Yet our industry seems to think people are so
obligated to buy it, we can make something smaller and drier and people
will still buy it. It’s crazy. You have to create something that,
whatever’s in it, people in town are all going to be talking about.
That’s the edge that we’ve lost.
Newspapers used to be seen as a utility. People used to ask, “Do you
take the newspaper?” What we have to produce now is a product backed by
marketing strategies that compels people to buy the product. It has to
be of great value.
— E.W. Scripps CEO Rich Boehne
That’s from an interview in a Northern Kentucky University publication (hat tip to David Oatney). Boehne, who runs the company I work for, also talks about journalism stenography vs. storytelling and says that the traditional media of newspapers, radio and television were just the warm up for the connected electronic grid of information that is really just at its beginnings.
To those who have been listening to what Boehne has been saying, his emphasis on journalism that creates compelling content and embracing multiple platforms to deliver that information is not a new message, but it bears noting. To extend his fast food restaurant analogy a bit further, he’s asking publishers and editors to upsize their committment to serving communities.