Newspapers: The great un-innovators

By Steve Outing

My latest Editor & Publisher Online column has generated a lot of e-mail, mostly pro, some con (and as noted in my previous blog item, lots of right-wing “down with the liberal media” crap). While I’m ignoring the political stuff, it’s been fascinating to watch the e-mails and blog comments from people in the news industry.

By far my favorite and most astute reader comment came from Enrique Gonzales, who is user experience analyst for NPR Digital Media. He wrote to me (and I’m quoting with his permission):

I’m reading Dealing with Darwin; How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of their Evolution. My biggest take away so far is that incremental innovation doesn’t pass muster. But that’s exactly the kind of innovation our industry has prided itself in so far — the nice protect the status quo kind of innovation. You have to go bold or go home; creating a breakaway product with a clear value proposition that cannot be beat. The IPOD and Motorola Razor are the latest example. The last time anyone in the newspaper industry did this was with the launch of USATODAY.

Nail hit square on head.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!