Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ten points aimed at better digital

In contrast with my hyperventilating post below, here's an example of Jeff Jarvis at his best: scanning a broad horizon and reeling in useful points of view and admonitions we should all be paying attention to.

In a post entitle simply Hope, he reproduces a ten-point list of excellent advice from Edward Roussel, head of digital the The Telegraph in London. All are worthwhile; let me highlight my two favorites here:

1. Narrow the focus. “…[M]edia companies need to invest more money in their premium content—editorial that is unavailable elsewhere but that is highly valued by readers. Go deep, not wide.”

5. Bottom up, not top down. “The reporters on the ground are closest to your readers. They are therefore best placed to conceive, create and nurture community Web sites….”


  1. Roussel's post was excellent. The kill-print movement ignores so much reality; these exchanges are provocative, but so often I think that the instant-publishing nature of blogging lends itself to under-thought, under-researched pronouncements that then get picked up and given a great deal of exposure because they are so dramatic.

  2. My comment posted to Jarvis' "Hope" entry:

    Interesting post by Roussel. Wonder why there’s such a need for many commenters (and Jarvis) to declare a zero sum, print-vs-digital reality. Each form of communication offers advantages and drawbacks. As a newspaper editor who believes in digital communication, I can tell you that many people rely on print newspapers, including many who get some portion of news online. The answer isn’t to abandon that readership, but to keep our focus on informing people most effectively and engaging them as participants in their communities and stakeholders in the issues we cover. We should make better print newspapers and better use of our Web tools, including meaningful linkage with individual and institutional knowledge in our communities.

    We’re in transition; I like this line from Roussel’s suggestions, “The role of a newspaper company on the Web is to add value: look at a story from a number of angles, engage your audience, add multimedia.” Smart, knowledgeable, practical thinking. And best of all, constructive — too much energy by too many smart people is being wasted on insults and blame.

    Thanks for posting these, Jeff.