Time to give up and retire?

By Steve Outing

How depressing. Did you see this Rick Edmonds post at Poynter.org? “Far-out Ideas? We Have No Far-out Ideas.”

He reports on the Capital Conference newspaper convention in Washington, D.C. last week, where Anthony Moor (a smart and innovative guy now at the Dallas Morning News) asked some publishers on-stage: Can you each give an example of one of the most far-out ideas you have heard recently for editorial and/or business? Not necessarily one that you would do, just that you have heard about?

The question was, according to Edmonds, answered with initial silence and then some pretty lame, not very innovative answers. Edmonds: “So after countless references in this conference (as in last year’s) to transformational change and an excellent panel the day before featuring CEOs from other industries who have pulled off huge makeovers, it comes down to this: The publishers can’t think of anything transformational and are into incrementalism instead?”

I read this after spending time yesterday answering criticisms of my last Editor & Publisher Online column, in which I announced that I was suspending my print-edition subscription and warning newspaper publishers to expect a wave of people behind me doing the same thing. A bunch of newspaper editors and publishers berated me; it felt like I was in 1998 again, not 2008.

Geez, perhaps it’s time for some of those folks to retire and hand over the reins to a younger generation of managers who probably could answer Moor’s question in a heartbeat.

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!