New media advocate and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis has three words for the newspaper industry: You blew it.
In one of the better rants laying out the ineptitude of the industry to adapt in the new millennium, Jarvis comments on the state of newspapers in this BuzzMachine missive in connection with the Newspaper Association of America meeting in San Diego last week:
You’ve had 20 years since the start of the web, 15 years since the creation of the commercial browser and craigslist, a decade since the birth of blogs and Google to understand the changes in the media economy and the new behaviors of the next generation of - as you call them, Mr. Murdoch - net natives. You’ve had all that time to reinvent your products, services, and organizations for this new world, to take advantage of new opportunities and efficiencies, to retrain not only your staff but your readers and advertisers, to use the power of your megaphones while you still had it to build what would come next. But you didn’t.Jarvis, author of the book "What Would Google Do?" and a professor at City University of New York, chronicles all the opportunities missed by the newspaper industry, which was too busy protecting its own turf, ignoring customers and resisting change while Google and others recognized the digital revolution and ate their lunch.
You blew it.
Jarvis has little sympathy for newspaper publishers who have only themselves to blame for their industry's demise. He concludes:
So now, for many of you, there isn’t time. It’s simply too late. The best thing some of you can do is get out of the way and make room for the next generation of net natives who understand this new economy and society and care about news and will reinvent it, building what comes after you from the ground up. There’s huge opportunity there, for them.Take that!
(Photo credit: "Jeff Jarvis" by eirikso, courtesy of Flickr.com)