A 21st Century Newspaper

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Above: Illustration by mast3r/Depositphotos.

A strategy outline by Mark Lyndersay

This paper was written for the newspaper I left in November 2017 as a parting gift after 19 years of contributing to its pages and a freelance association of  four decades.
It has, as far as I can tell, been ignored, along with all my writing in those pages on the subject of modernising journalism approaches over almost 20 years.
The original document addressed specifics relevant to that product and those references have been removed in favour of delivering a statement of general utility. November 01, 2018

The challenge.

The market has diminished through age and digital attrition as younger readers source their information from free online sources.
Getting information from a printed newspaper or scheduled broadcast is a habit and habits can be broken.

Particularly when there are readily available alternatives that are considered good enough and are delivered where potential customers are already gathered.

Newspapers now face a robust challenge as a general interest newspaper in a news consumption environment which favors spread over depth and news continuously dribbled through social media and messaging groups.

The Strategy

Deliver products that play to the strengths of both the digital and print mediums.

Digital – Immediacy, continuous reference

Print – Design for impact and display, content richness, advertiser appeal. 

The paper in print will become a publication focused on opinion leadership, deep investigative journalism and feature focused writing and photography that guides public opinion to positive outcomes and deeper understanding.

It will appear in subject focused editions, each of which will have a particular social intervention goal and will, effectively, represent a weekly installment of a particular kind of paper.

Monday might set the tone of expectations for the week with analysis of the politics of the previous week and highlights the issues that demand national attention in the week ahead.
It signals to authority that the circumstances of governance are being continuously monitored and signals to the reading public where their attention should be focused.

Reporting will drill down into issues of relevance to the week ahead and update the paper’s readers on the promises and plans made at every level in the public and private sector.

Wednesday should focus on business and businesses related reporting, with a strong emphasis on news you can use and motivating entrepreneurship at all levels of business.
It will feature strong case studies of local business models and institutions in enterprise as well as SME sectors of the local market.

Friday emphasises entertainment and lifestyle, with curtain raiser reporting on upcoming events and performers. Dramatic, authoritative reporting and and bright dazzling photographs will define the must keep edition of the paper for weekenders.

Sunday goes deep with news investigation and backgrounder reporting that enriches understanding of headline issues.
This is a paper that reports on  T&T in its totality, delivering a weekly state of the nation report across a range of social and cultural indicators.