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Dow Jones, NYTimes Memos Worth Noting

While I was away in India, Romenesko published two key memos, that reflect the challenge that newspapers face in the digital age.

The Dow Jones memo speaks to a company-wide project called Journal 3.0, talking about building a strategic plan for Dow Jones in the digital age. It says in part:

This is the right time to take a step back and reevaluate our news strategy in a comprehensive way, especially as editors of our flagship Wall Street Journal plan for “Journal 3.0: Newspaper for the Digital Age,” which involves rethinking what a newspaper should be at a time when readers get their news and information from many new sources and across many media. We will be the first media company to focus the print and online dimensions of our franchises based on what each medium can do best for readers and advertisers.

The New York Times memo talks about how and why the Times will shrink its paper’s size and newshole, while telling the staff that less will probably be better. Editor Bill Keller writes:

News hole: If we just cut the page size and did nothing else, we would lose 11 percent of the news hole. That would be a serious loss. But the plan is to add more pages to the paper so that the net loss of news space is approximately 5 percent, which I believe we can absorb without significant damage to the report. We will look for ways to report incremental news developments in digests or other abbreviated forms, and to police flabby or redundant prose in longer pieces. I’m convinced that, with good editors and a little time, I could take 5 percent out of any day’s paper and actually make it better.

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