Oh, how things have changed in the newspaper business. Fear and self-loathing have slowly eaten away at the confidence many reporters and editors used to feel about their jobs and the future. This has left newsrooms vulnerable to bad ideas from business people selling snake oil and think tankers trying to respond to trends they don't really understand. While many, if not most, newspapers have withstood a torrent of bad decision-making, there is no question that ethics and standards at some have suffered in the scramble to shore up revenues, make owners happy and remain relevant to an increasingly fractured audience.
On that score, The Feed at the St. Petersburg Times has a satirical old rules, new rules take on TV news that I think has some relevance to the newspaper field as well.
Here's a sampling:
Old rule: Staff experience is valuable New rule: 1 year is experience
Old rule: Cover breaking news New rule: make up breaking news
Old rule: Build credibility and you'll gain a bigger audience New rule: Reach more people through the Internet
Old rule: Be good storytellers New rule: more stories, less telling
Old rule: Report the facts New rule: report what people say
Old rule: Consultants suggest New rule: Consultants control
Old rule: Bad staff behavior is not tolerated New rule: address your questions to our attorneys