Submissions to this year’s 10 Newspapers That Do It Right encompassed an array of projects highlighting bold and innovative ideas from publications around the world. In an industry that is often viewed as beaten down or on its death bed, we read success stories that actually told the opposite. Thank you to everyone who sent in a submission this year. Your eagerness to share how your paper is doing it right proves there are plenty of things to celebrate.
We also asked you to share ideas that could help newspapers grow and prosper. Again, many of you opened up on how we can move our entire industry forward. So, I’m going to turn it over to some of the newspapers that made it on our list of 10 and some of our honorable mentions. If you didn’t send in a submission this year, but would still like to share your ideas on how newspapers can prosper, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Parents who have great relationships with their teenagers are typically those who have learned teenager language and figured out a way into teenager world. You keep waiting on the teen to rejoin you, and you will become much less important to them, possibly forever. Newspapering is the same…accept who your core, loyal readers are and develop revenue-generating projects they are willing to pay extra for…branch out to other areas that have little to do with journalism and a lot to do with skill sets in the building that can be deployed differently.”—Pam Sander, StarNews
“Our industry must be committed to being part of the community, showing genuine interest in its well being and ability to grow, and help foster that initiative and innovation. Advertising needs to understand clients’ needs and connect them with our audience. Newsrooms need to tell stories that make lives richer and explain and dig beneath the surface. Circulation needs to make sure readers get what they pay for with consistent service. And publishers need to insure all departments have the resources they need.”—Dennis Anderson, Journal Star
“Newspapers/news sites can continue to grow and prosper if they continue to focus on outstanding journalism with a community focus. The community—our audience—has a passion for local news, but societal changes are impacting how and where the community consumes the news. While some have made the transition to digital and are comfortable navigating current and emerging platforms, others have been left behind. It’s our job, through community engagement, to bring those who feel like outsiders or uncomfortable on digital platforms into the fold. It’s our responsibility to share our passion for online journalism and show them how by consuming news online, it’s a much more interactive and enriching experience.”—Michelle Rogers, Record Searchlight
“Three approaches can turn problems into opportunities: create audience-focused experiences; approach problems differently; and take a growth mindset in building audience. Newspapers can grow if they recognize the importance of creating experiences with its audience.”—Bill Church, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“Niche products allow us to use the delivery systems we already have in place and give us the ability to be the experts in a particular subject. By leveraging our knowledge and our staff skills, we make ourselves essential to our audience. In learning about the subject, we also learn everything about the target audience. We research their reading habits and what connects. We refine the best delivery model, whether that be print, mobile, Web or video. That highly engaged audience becomes a premium sale to advertisers, and we operate at the highest level of integrity in that arena.” Linda Shapley, The Denver Post