Thursday, March 8, 2012

Management, culture significantly affect newspapers' future: PEJ

In a new report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) from Pew Research, Tom Rosenstiel and others say many newspapers aren't putting enough effort into new digital revenue opportunities, and they specifically point to decision makers as a problem.

"The future of newspapers, rather than being determined entirely by sweeping trends, can be significantly affected by company culture and management -- even at papers of quite different sizes," they write. "The industry is inhibited by several obstacles that executives themselves candidly acknowledge. One involves the difficulty of changing the behavior of people trained in the ways of a mature and monopolistic industry."

Still, the report puts into perspective the relative stability of a changing medium.

"There are roughly 1,350 surviving U.S. English-language daily newspapers, down from about 1,400 five years ago," the report notes. "The vast majority of these papers are smaller, less than 25,000 circulation. There are 70 papers remaining in the U.S. with circulations more than 100,000."