Self-proclaimed "news guru" Kevin Slimp is speaking at the 2013 Michigan Press Association Annual Convention, Jan. 25-26, 2013, in Grand Rapids, Mich. Slimp headlines a program called "Tradition + Technology" during the event.
Slimp was in the news recently for a column he wrote and offered for free publication about the decline of newspapers. It was largely a rebuttal to comments made by Morley Safer on 60 Minutes during the Jan. 10, 2013 edition of the show.
Slimp weaves a story to make his point, rather than directly taking on the claim by Safer that print newspapers are "virtually an entire industry in free-fall." Rather than punch back directly, Slimp tells of his experience recently talking to those in the industry.
He also makes one very important point: Newspapers that invest in their product are much more successful than those that have actively cut into the core of their products by reducing reporters, photographers and editors.
It makes sense doesn't it?
In most industries, regressive actions result in a reduced product and eventually a product that does not mean previous standards. The level of investments many newspaper companies have poured into technology and online products has only meant that much more money siphoned away from successful print products.
The result has been a misguided shift in resources, without any solid evidence that it would produce winning results, that has resulted in weakened newspaper products around the country. I lose in this formula and so do all newspaper readers.