A year ago today I walked out of the News & Record for the last time as editor. Twenty-seven years there, 13 of them as editor. It was a good run. But I wish I had been smarter. After a year as a civilian newspaper reader, I realize how often I worked on the wrong things.
John L. Robinson in Journalism, One Year Later. He reflects very honestly on what he could have done differently at the newspaper.
1. On Content
We spent time and precious resources on stories that didn’t matter much to most readers. We should have been writing stories that compelled people to read them. We didn’t do enough investigative pieces. We didn’t do enough good reads. We didn’t do enough of what readers valued.
2. On Digital Innovation:
We didn’t build an inviting, informative, smart community, which is dumb of us because newsrooms are places where smart, creative, fun people work.
3. On Listening:
Had we met with members of the community — readers and non-readers – to listen, learn and improve every other month, perhaps we wouldn’t be in as much trouble as we are.