Want to know what works in news?
- Instantaneous (Al Jazeera’s liveblogs) or old news (any newspaper) or even older news (The Economist)
- Print-first (most student newspapers) or digital-first (it has saved the Journal Register papers) or even newsletter-first (DailyCandy and tons of B2B)
- Quality (The New York Times) or good-enough (Gawker, free Metro papers around the world)
- News from all over the place (HuffPo) or unique coverage (McSweeneys, The New Republic)
- Social (Hacker News, reddit) or algorithmic (Google News) or editorial (Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish)
- Professional (every newspaper) or amateur (Evanston Now, Berkeleyside) or by students (The Local East Village)
- Mobile-first (arguably The Wall Street Journal) or no mobile at all (most local and rural papers)
- Niche (TechCrunch) or subculture-based (Monocle) or something for everyone (Sunday papers)
- Paywall (The Financial Times, Mediapart) or porous and metered (Morris among others), contributor memberships (MetaFilter) or free (many, many others)
- Service-driven (Curbed) or community-driven (Davis Wiki) or format-driven (Politifact) or story-driven (Harper’s)
- Collaboration (California Watch plus its many partners) and competition (any country with more than one national broadsheet)
- Non-profit (MinnPost) or for-profit (The Batavian)
- Short (Newser) or long (Slate) or longer (ProPublica’s Kindle Singles)
- Being a technology company (The Texas Tribune), meticulous about metadata (The Guardian) or neither (any and all bloggers)
- Opinionated (Techdirt) or even biased (FoxNews or IndyMedia) or dryly factual (BBC News)
Give me a facet and I’ll give you success stories from all over the spectrum. Business successes and editorial ones.
People always look for the one best solution. Fact is, you can make just about anything work if you’re smart about it.