Standing up for journalism in the digital age

A little over a decade ago, I left the newspaper business. I had spent 14 years of my career in a variety of newsrooms. I had experienced life at a family-owned newspaper as well as corporate-controlled outlets under Gannett and other chains. By 2005, the push toward online had taken over as news organizations struggled […]

Innovation: How much freedom is too much?

It’s a constant conversation among clients and colleagues: How big-sky should your thinking be when it comes to innovation? As a creative person, I am a fan of the open canvas in many settings to avoid the shackles of legacy thinking. Analyze a particular problem, and brainstorm solutions regardless of limitations. Work to develop an […]

Longevity: Creating meaningful, lasting content

Google and Facebook recognize it: Ephemeral content wears thin. If their algorithms continue to surface popular but ultimately meaningless content, people will slowly realize those online spaces, too, add little to their lives. Audiences will eventually gravitate to other places that offer more meaning and fulfillment, where they can find deep, rich content. Think about […]

Finding the communication ‘jobs to be done’

As an editor and newsroom manager, I had been drawn to Michael Porter’s ideas of strategy, especially his 2001 essay “Strategy and the Internet.” Too often, I had watched my organization and others slash and trim to improve their bottom lines for short-term gains. Porter’s call for strategic positioning over operational effectiveness made more sense: Don’t […]

The delicate balance of ROI

I’m one of those journalistic idealists enamored of the promise of Vox Media and Re/code. When Vox’s acquisition of Re/code was announced this past week, I focused on the strategic aspects in terms of content and competencies. But then, Brown fired back in an email: What do you think about all the VC money Vox […]

What is strategy? Ask Vox

Innovation may be the buzzword that won’t die, but Vox Media has not forgotten a keyword for success: strategy. Since its founding in 2011, Vox has made several smart strategic decisions as it has developed and expanded its media presence. Yes, it is an innovative company, but its leaders have developed a keen sense of self to […]

Questioning clickbait: The return of long-form content

Look at BuzzFeed at any given time of day, and you’ll see a host of enticing quizzes and timely listicles like the clickbait below. Who can resist such easy-to-digest content? Not many of us, apparently. (I am Thing One, by the way.) BuzzFeed is now among the top 10 U.S. sites for traffic, and news […]