Since I wielded the shovel quiet a few years ago, I haven’t understood why a newspaper hasn’t stood up and said online news is a different business from print newspaper and shouldn’t require us shoveling the entire print contents on to the web site early every morning. Well, Howard Owen has said it in an effort to change the culture of the newsroom and he didn’t say it to try to save the print circulation). Then, he describes how a newspaper would like without the shovelware. My favorite points include…

  1. A continuous flow of news.
  2. Lots of opportunities for user participation and contribution resulting in being a part of the flow of the conversation, not the whole conversation.
  3. Video (and other multimedia, but primarily video), and lots of it.
  4. Lots of utility pieces, such as calendars, movie listings, and strong advertising tie-ins for classifieds and internet yellow pages.
  5. Lots of databases. If it’s data, and it’s relevant to our community and we can make it searchable and/or sortable, we should have it on our web sites.
  6. We should also make sure our articles, our videos, our databases — pretty much everything on our web sites — is easy to share (RSS everything).

Wouldn’t that be a fun newspaper to read and a fun newspaper to work for?

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