Bernard Asselin of The Gazette in Montreal said now is the time to “focus on the core values of our products,” and that newspapers should “stop the non-value-added activities, make people accountable and responsible, start the client-supplier concept internally, implement the internet profit centre concept.”
Michael John Gill of Fairfax Australia said he worries that “we do not see much discussion of what the internet has done to the ‘news’ part of the equation. Fundamentally, primary sources are now – largely – available to all. So the distinguishing ‘news’ values have to be defined against today’s reality.”
Mike Donatello of USA Today said “the mess we find ourselves is largely of our own making” and “fueled by our myopic obsession with the quarterly care and feeding of fat margins.” He wishes there was a way to get publishers focused on brand- and share-building.
Mirek Kowalski of Media Regionalne in Poland said newspapers need visionary CEOs to stabilise their role as multi-media publishers, and he lamented that too much time is being spent on protecting print revenues rather than opening up revenues in other platforms.
The backstory to what is now being called the “Iceberg Report” is that I wrote this in response to the one-size-fits-all doom-and-gloom stories that are appearing everywhere in the world. I readily admit times are tough, but there are nuances and layers to the story. What the closure of a newspaper owned by a U.S. corporation that has amassed debt has to do with the future of newspapers in Germany or India or Argentina is beyond me. Hopefully, the Iceberg Report will get people thinking about that.
The report seems to have struck a nerve with newspaper executives who have been through economic downturns before or who see the P&Ls and realise that while this is tough, newspapers are going to survive – even if the corporations that own them may not.
Fascinating to see how this report got picked up so quickly on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the blogosophere.
Which, unto itself, should tell you how the world is changing and how quickly information gets around in this world.