The Ten .comMandments

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Presentation I gave at Poynter in June 2010 on the 10 things newsrooms need to do to succeed in our digital future.


  • 1. The Ten .comMandments Jim Brady Poynter Institute June 6, 2011

2. The Ten .comMandments 1. You shall not whine The old business model is dying. Resistance is futile. And not smart. Your future readers/viewers have grown up in a totally different media environment. We need to figure out how to survive in a disaggregated, open media ecosystem. 3. The Ten .comMandments 2. You shall be OF the web, not just on the web Taking your publication and plopping it on the web is not a strategy. Be educated on how the web is different Add new sources to your media diet, i.e. mashable, PaidContent, Poynter, etc. 4. The Ten .comMandments 3. You shall take risks What bigger risk is there right now than doing nothing? Try new things & understand going in some will fail. Many others will not. Being a fast follower is a losing strategy in digital. 5. The Ten .comMandments 4. You shall not be platform-agnostic All platforms are not created equal. Do you want the same information on your desktop, iphone & Ipad? Create original content that speaks to that platform. But its not all about creating platform-specific content: its more about how info is assembled. 6. The Ten .comMandments 5. You shall embrace new tools tools themselves are not good or bad. Its what you make of them. Stop thinking of them as technical tools. Theyre journalistic tools. Think not just of tool, but why its successful, and emulate those characteristics. Examples: Social Media, Location-based services, 7. The Ten .comMandments 6. You shall understand the business side This doesnt mean doing business work, just merely understanding what your challenges are. It means open communication. Sales teams cant sell what they dont know about. Dont say Its not my problem. Its everybodys problem. Pulitzer Prizes are not accepted in place of rent. 8. The Ten .comMandments 7. You shall have tangible goals Decide what metrics are important. Communicate them widely and frequently. Have plans in place for when goals are met -- or not met. So much of the new world is unsettled. Good metrics are a nice stabilizing force. 9. The Ten .comMandments 8. You shall pick your spots The Web is niche. Most newspapers and TV stations are not good at niche. Decide what you want to win at, and put the bulk of your resources behind those things. Being mediocre at most things is not a good journalism or business model. 10. The Ten .comMandments 9. You shall embrace your community Engagement As viewed by many news orgs: 11. The Ten .comMandments 9. You shall embrace your community Engagement As it should be viewed by all news organizations. 12. The Ten .comMandments 9. You shall embrace your community Journalism companies need more than readers. They need engaged participants. Involve the community in real journalism not just pet photos and message boards. Meet them in person. Convince them that your success is their success 13. The Ten .comMandments 10. You shall link to other sites Dont rely on traffic cops to deliver you new readers. Become a traffic cop. Become the news hub for the subjects you cover. Dont fall into the why would we send readers off our site? trap. Theyre going to leave your site anyway. Make your consumers happy, not your newsroom. 14. Thanks! Questions ?