Why Rewrite?
Newspapers are in trouble. Readers are straying in record numbers as papers become less essential to their lives. This blog will explore where we've gone wrong and what we're doing right, with an eye toward REWRITING THE FUTURE of newspapers.


Search Rewrite!

Got links?

[ Media Weblogs ]
+ EditorsWeblog.org
+ Media Savvy
+ Prints the Chaff
+ J-Log
+ Hypergene MediaBlog
+ Media Minded
+ First Draft
+ The Scoop
+ Rhethorica
+ Infomaniac
+ Journolist
+ MediaScape Blog
+ NewsDesigner Blog

[ Industry News ]
+ Romenesko
+ Daily Briefing
+ I Want Media
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[ Organizations ]
+ Readership Institute
+ API/NDN MediaCenter
+ NAA Readership
+ Poynter
+ Concerned Journalists/PEJ
+ Pew Center
+ Headline Club
+ Medill School of Journalism
+ World Association of Newspapers

[ Online ]
+ E-Media Tidbits
+ Online Publishers
+ NAA Digital Edge
+ DaveNet

[ Design ]
+ NewsPageDesigner
+ Edward Tufte
+ Jakob Nielsen
+ Today's Front Pages
+ Typography museum

[ Chicagoland ]
+ Hot Type
+ Press Box
+ ChiMedEx
+ Chicago Newspapers


Who's rewriting?
This adventure into journalistic ideas and sausage-making brought to you by a group of journalists with ties to the Newspaper Management Program at the Medill School of Journalism:
  • MO | Meg O'Brien is associate business editor at the Chicago Tribune. She's dabbled in online, keeps her hand in design, did the metro reporting thing and teaches occassionally at Medill. E-mail her.

  • DS | A copy editor at The Daily News Hole, a Midwestern major metro daily. As an 18- to 34-year-old, he is highly sought after by media outlets and advertisers. When not shoveling copy, he enjoys traveling, cooking and spending quality time with his iBook or TiVo.

Finding Rewrite!
Actual search terms used to find this site:

+ Mike Tyson's Tattoo Pic
+ Medill any good?
+ adult movie Fashionista
+ "Take cover, here come Mediasaurus"
+ sausage making receipts
+ Bat Boy T-shirts
+ www.edwardtufte.com
+ "spark interactive" comic creator
+ selling a sunday newspaper to a media planner
+ elvis costello t-shirts
+ pictures of operations at hospitals
+ "Dixie Redfearn"
+ Washington Post pressman union strike
+ racine
+ gannett thrive boise
+ star trek miniskirts
+ today's front pages
+ "typography musueum" london
+ lynn upshaw usa today
+ chicago rewrite service
+ francois dufour, editor
+ sleeve marijuana tatto pic
+ research paper-interesting topics
+ www.newspagedesigner
+ why rewrite papers
+ blog fashion hosiery
+ "Chicago Tribune" "youth publication"
+ mediapost kids
  + "societal influence" AND newspaper
   + dirty tattoo pic 
+ free copy of Marijuana Growers Guide Deluxe
  + status update evan and zora
   + "mon quotidien" pay bac 
  + newspaper sun for san bernandino
   + Enquirer Bat boy T-shirts
+ Rich Ramhoff


Sunday, September 07, 2003
NEW FORMULA FOR SUCCESS ? | Just got back for the Society of Newspaper Design convention in Washington D.C. where Juan Antonio Giner, a partner at Innovation International Media Consulting Group, tried to talk some sense into us about the role of newspapers.

He was harsh. But we needed to hear it.

His biggest criticism was that newspapers continue to clutch to the role they played in the past and are not adapting to people's changing information needs.

If people want to know what's going on now, TV, radio or the Web will serve them best. We come out once a day and cannot possibly compete in breaking news. When we cover an event, readers don't see our stories and photographs for eight to 24 hours. Yet, Giner estimates that 90 percent of the content in today's newspaper focuses on what happened yesterday.

Instead, Giner said, we have to focus most of efforts on telling people what's coming next. His recipe for a successful newspaper of the future: 20 percent past, 30 percent today and 50 percent tomorrow.

My quick analysis here (green=future-oriented; tan=today; red=past) of a few papers from today shows we're looking to the future more than Giner suggests. Some of my green boxes were generous, though. But, then again, these are Sunday papers and tend to be more analytical and forward-looking -- I wonder if that has any relationship to the fact that Sunday papers are also our best-sellers.

I'll do this analysis again Tuesday. I'm curious to look at the difference on the weekdays. Though I dispute his measurement of the depth of the problem, I think he's on to something. Looking at stories through a past-present-future filter did help me see that even in cases where are telling forward-looking stories, we often spend the first 12 graphs somewhere in the past stuck in an anecdote somewhere.

We have to give readers what the haven't heard or seen before -- and not make them wade through old news to get to it -- if we are to be valuable and useful. As Giner said, newspapers "need to find news, not record it."


[ 2:12 PM | Posted by Ms. M ]

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