I don’t go a bundle on end-of-year navel gazing, and I’m not one for New Year resolutions but there are a few resolutions I wouldn’t mind others trying out for 2009…
1. Industry commentators. Resolution: To sound a little less pompous and gleeful when writing about job cuts/profit falls/closures. To stop constantly harping on about why newspapers must fail, and start writing about what they would do to reinvent a still-profitable industry.
2. Newspaper advertising teams. Resolution: Spend a little time considering what you are offering as part of digital packages. Offering a blog to every client prepared to put their hand in their pocket for a solus is not always the best option.
3. Newsroom types. Resolution: Learn the need to CommuniCATE – Conversation, Accountability, Transparency, Engagement. By creating communities and being open and involved with them, by making our brands relevant and real to people, rather than remote names, and by seeking information rather than seeking to impart wisdom, we can grow.
4. Journalists. Resolution: Consider why you became a journalist and then ask yourself the question ‘How can I best tell this story in a way that informs, entertains and challenges readers?’ Sometimes, only 800 words will do; but there are so many more ways to share what you’ve found out now. Experiment, seek reader advice and welcome feedback, share your experiences with colleagues. And have fun… Otherwise, what’s the point?
5. Readers. Resolution: Bear with us during this time of interrupted service. Please. Because we care, we are trying, and we are actually better at what we do that a lot of you give us credit for. Because when we get it right we do it so well, and because we announced your birth, your 18th, your wedding, your children’s safe arrival… need I go on?
Like I said, I don’t do resolutions. But I do make promises to myself from time to time and, since it’s just us here, I’ll tell you what I’ve promised myself.
In 2009 I will: Laugh more; See more daylight; Listen properly to others when they tell me things; Be willing to accept some ideas just fail.
And I will, above all, continue to love newspapers and be grateful that, 20 years ago, some editor was rash enough to agree to give me a job.