A Lot Still To Do


We asked our editorial leaders across all Digital First Media properties about the impediments to getting the job done.

Above is what came back.

Still so much to do. Not bitching. Not whining. Just saying.

And never giving up. We’ll get this done.


13 thoughts on “A Lot Still To Do

  1. It might be better served asking this question to those on the street and in the newsrooms. While our staff likes to complain with the best of them, not a day (hour, minute?) goes by when we aren’t utilizing everything at our disposal. People are not only getting the job done, but they are doing things not thought possible two years ago. Many of the “Editorial Leaders” I fear don’t have a feel for what each individual is doing on a daily basis.

  2. I’d venture to guess that those are the same responses you would have received in 2001, 1991, 1981, etc… Well, except for the digital and video.

  3. Beautiful word graphic. Wonderful sentiment. However…

    Without seeing the responses, I can safely bet that the hidden message in a majority of them revolve around this seldom-spoken truth: Ya’ll are trying to shoe horn your centuries-old business into an ecosystem dominated by tools, policies and customs not created for you. But actually, it’s worse than that. Many features of the tools, purposes of the policies and origins of the customs put you at a disadvantage, intentionally!

    By accepting the playing field as your opponent defines it, you lose most of the battle before you start. That seemed odd to me back around 1998. It’s escalated into near insanity in 2012. If journalism, news – the former rose by so many names – doesn’t stand up and start making its own future by defining its own playing field, it will eventually no longer have to be the adversary of the ones calling the shots, because it will be an afterthought for all.

    To be fair, I realize innovations such as the web came as a complete surprise to the news biz and the journalism profession. But that was 1993! (1995 if you start counting from the commercial graphical browser, Netscape). And still you are the afterthought. In 19 years you’ve done what? Mimicked the business model pioneered by porn and renamed it a paywall? Seriously?

    It seems to me the resources at your disposal, even after being merciless crushed by new alternatives for ad dollars for almost 2 decades, are still significant enough to mount your own challenge.

    Don’t think your foe invincible or displaceable. Remember email, invented in 1973 by 1 guy over a weekend, dominated the internet as the most important service … until the web (conceived also by 1 guy) 20 years later. Do the math. Next year is 2013. 20 years of the web. Or count from the explosion and we have until 2015.

    By either calendar, the timing is just about right for the internet to anoint a new king service to which all others take a back seat (not thrown from the bus to the side of the road to die.. but no longer behind the wheel calling the shots).

    This time, however, we have enormous advantages over the foe. We know each of its considerable weaknesses. We know what works. Best of all we’ll use our foe to spread faster than anyone ever imagined while we displace it… without anyone ever knowing we’re coming.

    All of this is going to happen. The only question is, “Will the Internet’s next king service be for you or against you?” I think in your heart and in your head you know the answer … depends if it’s by you…. or not.

    Ready to really start?
    Or does “never give up” because a “done” is possible still seem like a viable long term strategy?


  4. Wow! An illustration says a 1,000 words. Thanks for sharing this. I am a glass half-full person who is spending nearly every waking moment working on the digital training portion of this equation. And every day I tell staffers that we need to do the best we can with the equipment we have. However, even as I am aware of the economic realities of journalism, I can’t help but think that our small staffs need to be mighty, and that state-of-the-art tools are the weapons they need to carry into battle. Trying to compete here in the Silicon Valley, I see who is winning that technological war.

  5. Word cloud error: For some reason, the cloud didn’t combine exact matches (save for upper or lower case), such as “Time” and “Training.” At least those two terms should be a little bigger.

    I train people and companies on time management, digital communication, video, etc. But newsroom managers have to make the effort to prioritize training and help their few remaining staffers.

  6. Pingback: What are the biggest daily obstacles journalists face in getting things done? | Astrid Bidanec

  7. Word clouds can be misleading, but this one seems to add up to a keyword–resources. The resource issue at Digital First appears to be no different from the issue at the many other news organizations that have downsized. You simply can’t do more with less.

    There may be “a lot still to do,” but it’s going to take a lot more resources to do it.

  8. The graphic is somewhat shaped like a foot as well.
    We need to take that foot and kick down the walls we have built between “ourselves”.
    Between departments … Between management … Between our audience even.
    Few are on the same page.
    Many are trying to protect their jobs, while nothing is getting done.
    We must change FASTER!
    Remember the TOTO song, “Kick Down The Walls”?
    “Kick down the walls
    Shake down the building
    Must be time for a change”
    We need to make that our anthem and stop fighting ourselves.
    Change is good.
    Change is inevitable.
    Change is challenging.
    Trying to kick down our walls, sometimes, though seems impossible!

  9. Yes, still a way to go.

    My guess is if you asked an outside observer or any consulant who has worked with the industry this question, the biggest word would be people.

    There are many talented people in your company and your industry. But you need more. You also need to prune to stimulate growth.

  10. Interesting…The main thing I get from the word cloud is there’s a general Lack of Staff, Equipment, Time, and Training. Or, as an above poster notes, there’s a lack of resources.That’s pretty telling as many media/news companies have been slashing and burning to meet their bottom lines, replacing paid work with volunteer work (citizen journalism), and shedding assets. In order to get any job done, you need motivated workers armed with the right tools.

  11. For what it is worth (as it is now July!), this tag cloud appears mostly to be drawn from the air wafting above the expanse of the newsroom. What is the handy tag for “citizen belief in the value of journalism?” That is perhaps the primary external “barrier” to deal with, IMHO.

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