Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Future of the Newspaper from Lawrence, Kansas

The New York Times' focus on the cross platform technology abilities of The Journal-World in Lawrence comes after NPR covered the paper/online/podcasting/cable information source a few months ago.

But the content speaks for itself:
  • "I don't think of us as being in the newspaper business," said Mr. Simons, the editor and publisher of The Journal-World and the chairman of the World Company, the newspaper's parent. "Information is our business and we're trying to provide information, in one form or another, however the consumer wants it and wherever the consumer wants it, in the most complete and useful way possible."

  • "We believe that journalism has been a monologue for so long and now is the perfect time for it to become a dialogue with our readers," said Rob Curley, 34, the World Company's director of new media. "We want readers to think of this as their paper, not our paper."

  • "Content is absolutely critical and king," Mr. Knorr said. "But consumers have more power than ever over who gets crowned."

  • On a sweltering midsummer morning in 2001, Mr. Simons convened most of his media staff in the basement of a handsomely restored former post office at the corner of New Hampshire and Seventh Streets. The building was World's new "converged news center," where the company's television, newspaper and online staffs would all be housed.

  • And while some residents bemoan The Journal-World's local navel-gazing, those overseeing the publication are unapologetic and enthusiastic examiners of all things Lawrence. "When the space shuttle blew up, we didn't have it on our home page; when the war in Iraq started, we didn't have it on our home page," Mr. Curley said. "It's focusing entirely on local stories that we think made our Web traffic go crazy."

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