Norwegian Newspaper Shows The World How Embracing The Internet Is Good For Business

from the giving-people-what-they-want-is-good-for-business? dept

All we hear out of the newspaper business these days are worries about how they'll continue to compete against the challenge of the internet. Perhaps all those distressed newspaper publishers (and investors) should be looking over to Norway, where the biggest-selling tabloid in that country has learned not only to embrace the internet, but to profit from it as well. While many other newspapers have been worried about cannibalizing their existing revenue lines while freaking out that Craigslist was somehow "costing" them revenue, Norway's VG looked at the online world as an opportunity, not a threat. It started investing heavily in its online presence all the way back in 1995 and didn't care if it cannibalized existing business. Instead, the management team realized that it made sense to build its own online classifieds site before someone like Craigslist came in and did it instead. While the circulation of its paper newspapers is down slightly, its earnings are way up. This goes back to the simple fact that newspapers got too focused on thinking they were in the newspaper business, rather than in the business of delivering useful news and information to a community of people in a way that was useful to them, and which brought them together for commerce. If they had recognized something like that (as VG clearly did) then the internet would always have been looked upon as a great platform, rather than something to be hidden in some far away building supported mostly by lip service.
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  1. identicon
    Good Point, 21 Feb 2007 @ 9:12am

    Re: What are they doing

    Editors who abstract news stories make choices about the information they choose to include. In this case, they could have included more detail about what the paper is doing. Wouldn't have hurt, would have served the readers--subsequent suggestions to RTFM notwithstanding.

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