Two years of Newton Now

Two years of Newton Now

There wasn’t one person, outside of Joel Klaassen (founding publisher of The Hillsboro Free Press) that thought we would succeed long-term with Newton Now. We got a lot of support early. I love these people more than you can know. They wanted us to succeed, but I could see it in many eyes as we told them our plan to launch a competitive weekly newspaper in a market that had a 5-day corporate newspaper. They were going to support us….

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You can’t “Own Local” from 1,000 miles away

You can’t “Own Local” from 1,000 miles away

I often wonder why I torture myself. It’s almost like I want to get angry when I see the link in my inbox, see it is another story about how Gannett or Gatehouse is screwing up journalism for the rest of us, and instead of hitting the trash button, I dive right in and get pissed off all over again. This week it was an interview with Alain Begun, VP of Marketing at Gatehouse Media, on a podcast hosted by…

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Mandy Thomas and the grieving band of idiots

Mandy Thomas and the grieving band of idiots

First of all, read this link: http://m.ljworld.com/news/2017/may/03/lawrence-man-killed-motorcycle-crash-was-not-prope/?templates=mobile   What did you think? My guess is one of the following: Sympathy for the family of the dead That was an informative breaking news story.   Anything beyond that would probably come because you either knew the person involved or are a moron. Now let me show you the social media outrage at this story—a story that a newspaper 100 percent should have covered and something most people in the community would…

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South Dakota is pretty great. Yeah, I said it.

South Dakota is pretty great. Yeah, I said it.

South Dakota is pretty great. Now, I am not sure how many people have written those words who weren’t from the Dakotas, but I am here to tell you, South Dakota is great. That comes from a native Texan and an adopted Kansan. I love my homeland, but South Dakota was somewhere I could see myself living if we ever left the great State of Kansas. Why? I love newspapers, and South Dakota does, too. Both Dakotas are mostly comprised…

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Why can’t people just get things right?

Why can’t people just get things right?

What I am going to say is going to piss some journalists off. I am OK with that. I am so sick of hearing about the death of newspapers, it is starting to drive me insane. Why do so many good journalists just accept that the industry is dying without looking at the mounting evidence that it is simply changing slightly and there are not just a few good years left, but decades, and more for a lot of us?…

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The biggest financial failure in our company

The biggest financial failure in our company

It never seems to go away. Sometimes failure is the best learning application you can have in life though, and I would like to tell you about one of the biggest ones I have ever had: Maize Free Press. It’s something I will never forget. About a year after purchasing The Clarion, a newspaper that covers five towns along the K-96 Highway corridor between Hutchinson and Wichita, Kan., we were coming to some fairly strong realizations about our small community…

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Engagement matters

Engagement matters

I struggle to talk engagement sometimes when I am selling our papers. It’s so easy to just talk about raw numbers like I was taught. It just flows off the tongue. Circulation this. Reach that. What we should be doing is sending things like this to our advertisers and letting them know that you can have 1 billion people looking at a website, but if they didn’t engage with the content they didn’t see any of the advertising either. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/print-still-refuses-to-surrender-214732…

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Clearing the air on our digital strategy

Clearing the air on our digital strategy

Sometimes you have to vent. A few weeks ago was that time for me, and as the comments came in and the questions about my sanity ensued, I realized that maybe not everyone knows the purpose of this blog or my intent. In my post a few weeks ago, I used some lewd language and was fairly angry as I wrote a post about a paid news site giving away their content and assuming they are going to make money…

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Pull your head out of your ass. News isn’t free

Pull your head out of your ass. News isn’t free

News isn’t free, and the faster we get to this realization as media companies, the better we will be as an industry. Covering the news of the day costs money. It takes resources to employ a professional reporter, buy equipment, maintain a printed paper and website, and basics like turning the lights on every day. This is why it perplexes me that news organizations are still under the delusion of being able to give their content away for free and…

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R.I.P. Hutchinson News – It was a good run

R.I.P. Hutchinson News – It was a good run

The death of journalism has been coming for some time—just depends on who you ask. First it was radio, which would put newspapers into the ground. Then television was going to end the profession. Finally, the Internet would be a death blow, right? No, even if we have tried to speed our death along by giving away our content online, the Internet hasn’t meant death to newspapers, and I doubt it ever will. The death of journalism isn’t coming from…

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