Author’s note: This article is referring to Thomas Knuewer’s yesterday post about how to save newspapers. Knuewer chose to write in English in order to join a larger, global discussion, despite him having a largely German audience — I will follow suit.
Thomas Knuewer, of Handelsblatt fame, yesterday published his musings about on how to save newspapers, and makes some claims I can wholeheartedly agree to. One of his key arguments is the demise of the daily newspaper as the sole source of information, and the necessary shift away from „reporting on everything“ towards „reporting on the stuff you probably won’t find on the net“. Shovelling wire news into the front section is not a viable option anymore, since an exponentially growing part of the population has already heard, seen or read about those news the day before on the radio, tv, and, of course, the internet. In other words, these news aren’t news anymore — so why bother writing about it anyway?
Stick to the original content. To insightful, meaningful and well written features. To the occasional look behind the scenes. To good journalism. To all the factors that make „Die Zeit“ the only newspaper I would subscribe to. If you’re a local newspaper, concentrate on good local journalism. I know quite a lot of people whose only reason to continue buying their local paper is the local journalism. Should someone come up with an idea how to do all that local reporting on the web, for free, those papers would most likely be screwed.
Think about your journalistic focus. And do it fast:
[you] have to change in a pace that makes a the speed of a space shuttle look like plate tectonics.