Now here’s a positive turn…Chris O’Brien lists 5 ways to foster innovation in the newsroom. These are not original ideas, but here’s someone offering an idea (or 5) to make newspapers and journalism better and stronger for the future. A nice relief from the whining I mentioned earlier.

The key in O’Brien’s piece is that newspapers must dedicate a number of staff to innovation — not just for the present, but also the future. Innovation must be ongoing. Change is inevitable. The business community has recognized it for much longer than we have.

We constantly editorialize for change, but as a business we are the most reluctant to do so. Unfortunately, most newspapers today are so focused on trying to plug holes in the profit dike that they are neglecting to fix it … and make it stronger. If Microsoft operated like newspapers, I’d still be using Windows 3.1 to put this blog out, and Bill Gates would have his staff focused on fixing all the bugs still in it.

Yes, it’s going to hurt. And, yes, some journalistic integrity may be lost in the transition, but until we as an industry focus some of our effort into research and development, we are destined to die.

And frankly, it’ll be our own fault.


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