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Slate, now 20 years old, reflects on the value of taking the long view and not chasing digital media trends
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Articles by Ken Doctor

Ken Doctor is a news industry analyst and the author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get (St. Martin’s Press). He also runs the book’s companion website, newsonomics.com. He is an analyst for the research firm Outsell and a regular consultant and speaker. He spent 21 years with Knight Ridder in a variety of roles, including as managing editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and as a vice president of Knight Ridder Digital.
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“What you don’t want is the brands to disappear in some kind of homogenized platform. It’s not just that we don’t want it — I think readers don’t want it. They feel the degree of loyalty.”
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You’ve had better things to do than follow every twist in this insane battle, so here’s a primer on how things got so troncked up.
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Platforms aren’t neutral — but it’s not just a digital problem.
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Tribune Publishing’s Michael Ferro says he wants to bring The Washington Post’s Arc CMS to its newspapers. Is that a grasp at credibility or a model for other news companies to outsource their tech stacks?
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“Think about platforms as fishing places where you can find large, engaged audiences and build a relationship with them by providing content. Then offer these users some other services off-platform.”
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How big would Gannett become? Is resistance futile?
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The digital startups were supposed to figure out how to replace the legacy news outlets. Now they’re facing their own headwinds.
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Well-intentioned antitrust actions by the Department of Justice are likely to deliver two newspapers to a company with a record of milking papers for profit through deep cutbacks.
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For the first time, I see a newspaper-created product that seems utterly comfortable with the digital medium.
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“The graphics desk can publish something on its own and then, the next day, point it out to the national editor and have the value of that piece be apparent.”