We need more people in this industry like Amy Webb. If you haven’t heard about the 30-Day Newsroom Innovation Challenge which she announced on her site the other day, you have to check it out. It’s a fantastic idea.
And, remember, a while back when I wrote a post about kicking Rob Curley while he’s down. This is exactly the sort of thing he should be doing to avoid being kicked again.
Anyway, the point of the contest is to help one newsroom, free of charge, who is struggling to innovate. Webb is a consultant to online media companies and organizations and has been working in the digital realm for more than a decade.
It’s 4th of July weekend. In the spirit of unshackling the newspaper industry from the tyranny of outdated business models, I’ve decided to hold a contest. I’m proposing a 30-Day Newsroom Innovation Challenge. I’m willing to offer my consulting services to help a beleaguered newsroom through the process of innovation. I will meet with your newspaper’s publishers, editors, web-site and print-side staff and even your local readers. I’ll facilitate brainstorming sessions and devise a set of strategies that you can implement right away to help monetize your content and motivate what’s left of your staff. At the end of our 30 days together, we should hopefully have short-term and long-term plans for publishing your content and for stabilizing your resources.
She is doing this, it appears, in the wake of news about media companies making huge cutbacks in staffing levels, which she argues may not be necessary. She places a high priority on local reporting. But, like everyone else, she recognizes that the business model we all apply is not working and won’t work as more of us enhance our digital presence.
I believe very strongly that if newsroom culture changed for just a month, to allow free-flowing brainstorming and fast-track implementation of new strategies, we might just find a workable business model that doesn’t necessarily involve scrapping entire sections of the newspaper or laying off a quarter of your staff.
The rules and how to enter the 30-Day Newsroom Innovation Challenge can be found here. Good luck.