Is It Possible For Newspapers To Save Themselves?
from the sure-it-is dept
Joshua-Michele Ross is suggesting that people suggesting new business models for newspapers should give it up, because newspaper companies are simply unable to adapt:
Because the news industry doesn’t suffer from a shortage of ideas or possible revenue models, it suffers from a different but more acute malady: being an institution during a time of disruptive change.
While we have all been busy telling the newspaper institution what they should do differently we have missed one big point: Institutions are structured to precisely NOT do much of anything different.
I have to say, I don’t find this convincing. While I think it’s true that most newspapers won’t do enough to change and will face more trouble because of it, claiming that they cannot change is questionable. Yes, it’s quite difficult for companies in an industry being disrupted to make that shift, but there are cases where companies do make the shift. Intel switched from a memory business to a processor business. IBM has pretty much made the shift from a big tech company to a services company. Nokia used to make rubber boots. Companies with good and visionary management (and a healthy appetite for taking some big risks) can make, and have made, tectonic shifts. Yes, it’s true that most don’t do this, it does not mean that it’s impossible. Claiming that they’re structured not to make the change isn’t true. They do have legacy issues, but it doesn’t mean they can’t make a big move to fix that.