Toronto Star columnist offers up solutions for newspapers

David Olive offers up a pretty solid, well-reasoned piece on the state of newspapers and the appropriate solutions.

His prescription for reinventing newspapers for the digital age are pretty standard fare but right on target.

A point where I diverge is with his blame-placing. The problem for newspapers hasn’t been public ownership so much as it is the structure of some stock offerings. I also think the “blame Wall Street” meme lets too many newspaper company CEOs off the hook for misreading investors concerns and not providing sufficient leadership to set the agenda for their companies’ growth.

A minor point, but I don’t get this part:

Indeed, it was the paucity of divergent views in U.S. mainstream papers on the activities of the Bush administration that spurred the growth of political websites – one of the largest subject categories on the Internet. It also drove readers away from the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Toledo Blade to the online editions of the Toronto Star and the U.K. Guardian.

I’m not sure how Olive is supporting that statement. Fact is, has consistently been one of the large U.S. newspapers with relatively high online readership.

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