Everybody today is trying to find a way to save the newspaper looking in advertisement, percentage of paper/portal news coverage and others have already buried the dead and try to find ways to get money from the internet.
There is an other way. Why not paper and web be one? We of course have to re think from the beginning the basic role of a newspaper which is news coverage.
I strongly believe that we here read the news on the internet. And many others too. And there is the TV and Radio also. We learn the news exactly when they happen.
And we like that.
We don't want to wait until tomorrow. So if all the newspapers act like they are a TV-Radio station or a news portal and print the yesterdays news why is anybody expecting that people will buy the newspaper so advertisers will give them money?Financial Times in London have a wonderful editorial module on what happens when there have to deal with breaking news. They have divided the process in 3 or 4 parts. The first 2 or 3 are for the web portal. So reporting in the first 3 steps is published on the net and the 4th more in depth reporting is published on the paper with a promo on the web for tomorrows great in depth analysis and reporting. But you need one newsroom for that. Not 2 different ones. With one director for both media.
I will take it a little further. Let's say that you can't have 100.000 words a day of good in depth reporting like the New York Times (I believe you can). Why not change the look of the newspaper and make it more friendly and interesting. Reduce the amount of words and pages. Who has time during the day to read 100.000 words?
Try and have unique content. Report and produce your own stories. Stories that will be on tomorrows news. And keep the breaking news and the daily agenda limited to briefs. Try to produce each story design and journalistic wise in top level. Throw all your effort and people to those stories and you will definitely have a very good story who no one else has. What does not fit on the paper goes to the internet. You can tease your reader through the portal by giving them a sneak peak of the tomorrows story in the paper.
You don't need a big newspaper to do that and you can guaranty that you will have readers. And this is where our work as visual editors is crucial.