Maybe the best thing for newspapers struggling to understand the Web is to not try.
In his latest column, New York Times media columnist David Carr writes that he’s discovered a newspaper that is “double-digit profitable, and it has been growing at a clip of about 10 per cent a year since it was founded in 1999, right about the time the Web was beginning to put its hands around print’s neck.”
Its secret: “It aggressively ignores the Web.”
The paper is the TriCityNews in Monmouth Jersey. Says publisher and owner Dan Jacobson:
“I don’t allow our name to be used on any kind of content on the Web — not bulletin boards or listings or anything. I don’t want anybody to connect The TriCityNews and the Internet. I don’t want anything that detracts from the paper and the presence of those big, beautiful full-page ads.
“I don’t understand how putting content on the Web would do anything but help destroy our paper. Why should we give our readers any incentive whatsoever to not look at our content along with our advertisements, a large number of which are beautiful and cheap full-page ads?”