Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Journal Register Company ends 2010 the talk of the newspaper industry

This blog was updated Dec. 23.

I published my year-in-review/2011 preview on The Record (Troy, N.Y.) today, and in the next week, will write a similar piece about our sister newspaper, the Oneida Daily Dispatch.

Alot of similar year-end pieces are publishing recently on the state of the newspaper industry ... and media in general. Here are what industry insiders are saying about our parent company, Journal Register Co. and our CEO John Paton in year-end stories:
  • Joshua Benton announced the results of a Neiman Journalism Lab poll on what industry participants thought were going to be the big stories in the journalism field in 2011. To the question, "Who do you think is the smartest thinker about the future of news inside the working world of journalism?" he announced JRC CEO John Paton as the winner. Voters could choose any editor, publisher, or other executive at any news organization. "John Paton’s efforts to turn around the moribund Journal Register Co. have gotten noticed: he led the way with 14 percent of votes, far outpacing The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger and CUNY’s (and JRC advisor) Jeff Jarvis," he wrote. "(Personally, I would have put Jeff in the Clay/Jay outsider category, but he wears enough hats that he could probably fit anywhere.) Others getting mentions: WaPo/TBD-ex Jim Brady, New York’s Adam Moss, Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall, Gawker’s Nick Denton, and Rupert Murdoch."
  • In another article at at Neiman Journalism Lab's web site, Martin Langeveld, who spent 30 years in the daily newspaper business working for a variety of New England papers, wrote: "Is there another newspaper company CEO who agrees with (John) Paton’s mantra, 'Be Digital First and Print Last'? I doubt it, because what it means, in Patton’s words, is that you 'put the digital people in charge, and stop listening to the newspaper people.' Most newspaper groups pay lip service to 'digital first'." See his full post here on his prediction for JRC in 2011.
  • staff writer Ellie Behling named Journal Register Company alongside Sports Illustrated, Gourmet Live, National Public Radio, and The Atlantic as the top 5 digital makeovers in media in 2010.
And in related news:
  • Suburban Newspapers of America announced a North America Innovation Tour in May 2011 around the continent for newspaper leaders which includes a stop at JRC's Torrington, CT newspaper, the Register Citizen, to visit its open community newsroom. "While there, the group will also spend a half day meeting with JRC corporate executives learning more about their digital-first strategy with a particular focus on revenue strategies that are working," the SNA release reported.
  • The New York Times wrote about our sister paper, The Register-Citizen in Torrington, Ct. last week that has opened its newsroom to the public.
  • also recognized two JRC advisory board members - professors/authors Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen - among the top five most influential digital media tweeters.
  • JRC CEO Paton wrote a year-end blog to employees lauding them for their digital first efforts in 2010: "In 10 months this company has gone from nearly zero video to producing about 1,000 videos a week and 2 million video streams monthly. From almost no digital ad orders to more than 1,000 orders per month." Read the blog and view a related video on JRC in 2010.  
It used to be said that journalists wrote the headlines, not dominated them. But times have changed as folks openly fret about the future of the media business. Some headlines reflect a glass is half-full outlook and some reflect the glass is half-empty; it is terrific to be working in a company where the headlines about it are all the former.

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