Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Temple's inside look at what went wrong

If you have not read John Temple's recounting of what went wrong at the Rocky Mountain News, you should.

(His thesis: Management, including him, kept thinking it was a newspaper company and failed to realize the competition was everything out there. Combined with old-line attitudes, such as thinking they could dictate what people wanted, managers/executives let their one-time cmpetitive advantage slip away.

Temple covers the waterfront, from the early ventures online (note one error, it was 1996, not 2006 as in his text), to the exile of online staffs because of union concerns, to the flip-flopping over what, exactly, the Web site was supposed to be.

Excellent for management classes, but there are things in here that about any upper-level reporting or ethics class could have a good time chewing over. And, as he says, much of this can apply to othe media, too.

(It's worth pairing this with Alan Mutter's dissection of what went wrong with the two news sites that journalists opened to compete with the Dener Post.)

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