'Newspaper' vs. 'Content' Biz is a 'False Dichotomy,' Consultant Says

july 3, 2007  09:34 am
"The biggest problem I have with the framing is that it's a supply-side question, which means there's hardly a wrong answer to it," says newspaper consultant Terry Garrett. The alt-weekly veteran discussed "Making Decisions in a Complex and Changing Media Market" at this year's AAN convention, and has begun a series of blog posts on the state of the alt-weekly industry as he sees it. "The implication in the subtle difference between the two choices is that you may be spending too much time on non-core business function and too little on your newspapers," he says. "The two ways to prove that is to ask demand-side questions first and to accurately measure your performance in operations against the best success standards." He lays out four key "demand-side" questions for newspapers:
  • What information do consumers want?
  • What does that information accomplish for them?
  • How do they get it?
  • Are their preferences for what they want and how they get it changing, and if so in what ways?