Are you having fun yet?

On Monday, I participated in a panel discussion that perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had in front of an audience. With several people who had run online news operations at one time or another — Bob Cauthorn (, Merrill Brown (, and Lisa Stone (BlogHer) — we discussed what we’d do if we were the publisher of a medium-sized newspaper. One of the groundrules was not to criticize the industry, but to offer useful suggestions.
I’m not sure I heard anything radically new, but what I did hear was an emerging consensus on what news operations should do next: rededicate ourselves to local news, change the newsroom culture, get replace editors who can’t change, seek honest paid circulation, provide competitive customer service to advertisers, keep startups at arm’s length from the core property, and more.
What I began to understand is that while the coming decade is going to be filled with pain for news organizations who can’t change, it’s also going to be a lot of fun for those who are forcing change on the industry.
I’m beginning to wonder if one test of the validity of a strategy (necessary but not sufficient) is whether you’re excited to come to work in the morning while you’re implementing it.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.