Ted Diadiun vs. John Kroll: Plain Dealer face-off

By Steve Outing

Here’s the video promised by Cleveland Plain Dealer Impact Editor John Kroll (representing the paper’s online/digital side) having a follow-up debate with Reader Representative Ted Diadiun about some disparaging comments Diadiun made toward bloggers and Internet news sites during a previous video chat, which generated quite a bit of heat. (Original link on Cleveland.com.)

This is not one of Diadiun’s normal video web chats, but rather a debate between an Internet-savvy Kroll and Diadiun (appearing on his day off!), who while contrite about some of the things he said previously, still strikes me as in need of some education about the media transformation we’re experiencing. Since Diadiun didn’t exactly back off his use of the word “pipsqueaks,” I’ll refrain from backing off my earlier blog-item description of him as a news “curmudgeon” in need of some further education.

See for yourself. (BTW, the headline below in the embedded video is part of the video; I didn’t write it, a Cleveland.com staff member did.)

Two pipsqueaks sitting around talking

Kroll makes the point that Diadiun’s rant last week represents only one opinion of many in the Plain Dealer’s newsroom of 240, and that many other staffers there have opinions that differ from either of the two men in this video. I’m glad he emphasized that.

However, from my point of view, the Plain Dealer can’t afford to have too many people on staff with views similar to Diadiun’s. For newspapers to get through the transition to profiting in the digital world, they need to pull together as a team and figure out how best to play in the digital landscape. If there are too many folks in that newsroom with views like Diadiun’s that the newspaper is best and other media are inconsequential in comparison, the Plain Dealer doesn’t have a rosy future.

I won’t go so far as to opine that Diadiun or any other “curmudgeons” in the newsroom need to be removed, but they do need some remedial education on what’s actually happening to modern media.

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!