Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"It's all about the content. It's not about the medium"

Steve Damish, the award-winning managing editor of the Enterprise of Brockton, Massachusetts, says America's newspapers will adapt to survive.

Speaking at the University of New Hampshire last week, Mr. Damish invoked Charles Darwin to say, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, but the one who is most adaptable to change."

Jennifer Keefe reports for the Foster's Daily Democrat:
"It's all about the content. It's not about the medium" [Mr. Damish said].

Milk, he said, comes in glass bottles, cardboard cartons and plastic containers. But it's still milk. This scenario, he contended, is very much the same for newspapers.

"We are the farmers of information," he told the students, adding that even though there might be fewer farmers in the world than there were many years ago, they're able to feed more people because of the tools now are at their disposal. It's these tools, he continued, that journalists need to use to be competitive and make the news industry thrive. . . .

"We've made it appear that our milk is watered down because we're giving it away for free," he said. "Citizen journalists think they can do it the way we do, but who else can do what we know how to do?"
More here.

Also read: Newspapers' closure adversely affects political engagement, study finds
And: Colorado town stops whining about its dead newspapers, starts a new one
And: Scholars call for tax credit for buying newspapers
: Should the newspaper industry get a bailout?

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