The Original Sin Of Newspapers: Not Innovating

from the yes,-indeed dept

There's this concept out there in the newspaper world, pushed by Alan Mutter more than any other, that the "original sin" of the newspaper industry was failing to charge when they put their content online. This is simply wrong. Many did try to charge, and they failed, because no one paid. However, Steve Buttry has a post making a much better point. The real "original sin" by newspapers wasn't failing to charge, but failing to innovate. Basically, the entire competitive landscape and the entire marketplace they were used to changed. Entirely. And nearly all of them seemed to think that they could get by doing the same basic thing they had always done.

These days, they're blaming everyone else for their problems: bloggers, readers, Craigslist, Google, some unknown "aggregators." But the simple fact is that these newspapers were incredibly fearful of innovating themselves, and basically let all those other sites online do the innovation for them. And now they're upset that the traffic goes to the innovators? At every turn in the game they were free to innovate themselves. They didn't. To then step up late in the game and look for legal and regulatory support to hold back those who did innovate seems inherently ridiculous.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2009 @ 7:41pm

    news. on paper.

    Explain the innovations on that?

    Are the newspapers online? yes.

    Is there a format available that allows people to enjoy the news in all the places they currently enjoy the newspaper? No.

    Is there any coming? Give it another 5 - 10 years, maybe kindle version 6 will be able to do it.

    You are mistaking product for distribution method again Mike. Perhaps you could innovate on your selection of stories (rather than "newspaper buggy whip" "copyright buggy whip" "patent buggy whip"). You have worked yourself into a rut.

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