Extraordinary scenes reported in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, a Florida newspaper, by intern and blogger Jessica DaSilva. In a posting entitled “It’s worth fighting for”, DaSilva describes how the editor in chief assembled the journalists at the end of last week to tell them of a new round of redundancies. The editor in chief then added a bombshell
People need to stop looking at TBO.comas an add on to The Tampa Tribune,” she said. “The truth is that The Tampa Tribune is an add on to TBO.
As I blog, the reaction has been amazing with over 150 posts two days later (perhaps some led there by a mention in BuzzMachine). Inevitably many of the comments have come from some pretty frazzled staff ofthe paper. But it is DaSilva’s support for the editor in chief’s line that has got most responses. They are, to sum up
- Newspapers must change or die
- The digital version will take precedence
- Do not compete for news with those who do it better
- Focus on what you do well and stick with it
DaSilva also writes that the editor in chief made an analogy between the newspaper and music industry – both great lumbering dinosaurs slow to see what is coming at them. She’s right but we should also remember that just when an industry seems at its lowest, it is on the road to recovery. Take the travel industry for example, where digital competition forced out the weaker players leaving those who were good in an ultimately strong position. Travel did that by turning themselves into digital players like their competitors.
So newspapers will do the same!