I guess the Print Media is dying a slow and gradual death ( i am generalizing my statement), as in many regions globally the Print is very deeply rooted. What i think is missed out by many Print Pundits is they confuse "moving online" with "compromising on Quality (we are not bloggers syndrome)".
Many other papers simply consider the Web to a "republishing tool" for their printed Daily (We have the Express Tribune in Pakistan that needs to have some sense of online journalism). What in my opinion is going to bring death to any print material is the replacement at the top, those there have massive issues of letting go of the "control" they have enjoyed over content, policies, transparency, etc. The though of letting go just sounds way to dangerous for them. Taking a note from your post at TechCrunch:
If you do one thing, make your editors and contributors work like bloggers. Espouse transparency and accessibility. This is what builds trust and connection with your audience. Nudge writers off the cliff into the cacophony of social media, and redefine enterprise journalism to encompass not only reportage, but also building an audience of followers, and responsibility for driving traffic to their own work product.
The very concept of “Engaging” is what is alien to many print publications out there, it demands transparency, it demands immediate attention. And while editors do a perfect job at setting the perfect tone, perfect grammar, etc going online puts you up front to have an uncontrolled engagement. Uncontrolled engagement is Harmful (for them), it provokes reaction and as much as it would take you higher, it has the potential to be apocalyptic for your brand.
So What Print Media is Going To Do?
They would usually start by recruiting top bloggers to contribute. Which in my opinion is actually having a blogger as a lab monkey (no offense to any blogger) and see what reactions does he get. Bloggers are bound to share what they write and give references and this provides brands a set of reactions to test it further. This is exactly why large Papers started off with a small blog section somewhere in the sitemap before they actually started to consider it a “real thing”. We know that no change is immediate, but it is time that the print giants take huge leaps.
Why Print Media Should Go Digital?
Because when you engage your audience, you are engaging your workforce more efficiently. Your writers are on their toes to keep an eye on all comments. Comments may demand clarity, facts, wrong reporting, etc. You are actually promoting “active journalism” on your Digital property at the same time identifying the right people to give you the timely reports on localities. Think of becoming the Reuters at the micro level. We have seen how the Washington Post, etc have adopted to this model and they are doing really well. What needs to be done is simply change their concept of “monopolizing” the industry. Build a model that is Inclusive rather Exclusive. I guess the more readily they adopt to this the better they will leverage the digital media.
I might be wrong for saying this, but moving to digital might actually help save the Print Media.
image with thanks