It's Time for Newspapers to 'Grow a Pair'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2009 1:17 PM CDT
In this April 21, 2008, file photo, a man walks past a St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper box in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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(Newser) – Newspapers are doomed, and if they’re looking for someone to blame, they should start with themselves, writes Bill Wyman for Splice in the second part of his industry critique. The "garrulous" Luddites working at newspapers—from managers to reporters—never considered the implications of technology. “They were out of their depth, lazy, and arrogant,” accustomed to having a monopoly on information. Accordingly, their web products are terrible, with little thought given to user experience.

Most papers have awful layouts and make it extremely difficult to find information. More importantly, their content is bland, boring crap of the “Free Burrito for Teachers” variety. When newspapers had a monopoly, that worked fine; their only goal was to not offend anyone. But bland doesn’t work online. All of these missteps have probably doomed the industry, but Wyman has some advice: “Serve the community. Don’t publish crap. Tell folks stuff they might not want to hear. Grow a pair.”