42 parting thoughts
A new member of the newsroom diaspora, former Los Angeles Times reporter William Lobdell makes a list of things he knows about newspapers in his inaugural post at Lobdell's OC.
To me, the list illustrates a deep frustration many, if not most journalists feel as they realize their best ideas of how to adapt and survive can gain no traction among those who believe in the downward trend line. Convinced of death, many newspaper companies seem to be running themselves toward the cliffs, hoping to shed themselves of their suffering bodies and discover their more perfect form as quickly as possible.
And it's damn near impossible to reason with a stampede.
*The piece of advice I most agree with is #33: If I were publisher, I'd have a clear mission statement for The Times' editorial department (if you ask 100 journalists at The Times about their mission, you'd likely get 100 different answers).
The "why" question is always the most important in journalism. Reporters and editors, especially young ones, need to figure out why they're in the business. More important, owners and managers need to ask themselves why they're in the business and make clear what they think journalism's mission is.