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Stopping the presses: Lessons from the Monitor

Stopping the presses: Lessons from the Monitor

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Stopping the presses: Lessons from the Monitor

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  1. Stopping the presses: Lessons from the Monitor Dr. Jonathan Groves, Drury University Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith, University of Memphis

  2. History John Yemma Editor Founded in 1908 Funded largely by the Christian Science church Daily newspaper, distributed via mail Switched to Web-only daily, print weekly March 2009

  3. Declining influence Circulation 220,000 in 1970 ↓↓ 52,000 2008

  4. Culture Key underlying assumption: Web-first is undermining the craft of journalism and is fundamentally in conflict with Monitor journalism • Mission: “To injure no man, but to bless all mankind.” • Deep commitment to “Monitor journalism” • “Solutions-based” journalism

  5. Timeline 9.5 M page views 25 M page-view milestone 19.4 M page views/ 8.8 M uniques * December 2009: Decision July 2010: Implementation January 2011: Confirmation

  6. Fundamental conflict:The success of page viewsvs.The Monitor ideal

  7. Four-pronged strategy Increase the frequency of updating Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Monitoring Google Trends for hot topics Use social media to reach new audiences

  8. Update frequency • Have reporters write two shorter stories (500 words) • Use blogs to get information out more quickly • One edit instead of two • Use lists to summarize and synthesize

  9. Riding the Google wave • Once the Monitor owns a topic, ride the Google wave • Don’t just use keywords; use keyword phrases • Google Trends • Use Google News and Yahoo! News to identify topic • Repeat phrases in headline and blurb

  10. Repeated phrase

  11. Incorporate social media Use blogsto create a network of interested constituencies Have reporters use Facebook, Twitter accounts Create a Diggteam to build communities Expand brand presence on all social media

  12. Page views Source: Quantcast.com

  13. Conclusions Eliminating print daily made changing routines possible After almost two years, still conflicted Success breeds hesitant acceptance Threat/reality ignites change