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Groves brown2011

ISOJ 2011

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Groves brown2011

  1. 1. Stopping the presses: Lessons from the Monitor Dr. Jonathan Groves, Drury University Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith, University of Memphis
  2. 2. History  Founded in 1908  Funded largely by the Christian Science church  Daily newspaper, distributed via mail  Switched to Web-only daily, print weekly March 2009 John Yemma Editor
  3. 3. Declining influence Circulation 220,000 in 1970 ↓↓ 52,000 2008
  4. 4. Culture  Mission: “To injure no man, but to bless all mankind.”  Deep commitment to “Monitor journalism”  “Solutions-based” journalism Key underlying assumption: Web-first is undermining the craft of journalism and is fundamentally in conflict with Monitor journalism
  5. 5. Timeline December 2009: Decision July 2010: Implementation January 2011: Confirmation 9.5 M page views 25 M page-view milestone 19.4 M page views/ 8.8 M uniques *
  6. 6. Fundamental conflict: The success of page views vs. The Monitor ideal
  7. 7. Four-pronged strategy  Increase the frequency of updating  Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  Monitoring Google Trends for hot topics  Use social media to reach new audiences
  8. 8. Update frequency  Have reporters write two shorter stories (500 words)  Use blogs to get information out more quickly  One edit instead of two  Use lists to summarize and synthesize
  9. 9. Riding the Google wave  Don’t just use keywords; use keyword phrases  Google Trends  Use Google News and Yahoo! News to identify topic  Repeat phrases in headline and blurb Once the Monitor owns a topic, ride the Google wave
  10. 10. Repeated phrase
  11. 11. Incorporate social media  Use blogs to create a network of interested constituencies  Have reporters use Facebook, Twitter accounts  Create a Digg team to build communities  Expand brand presence on all social media
  12. 12. Page views Source:
  13. 13. Conclusions  Eliminating print daily made changing routines possible  After almost two years, still conflicted  Success breeds hesitant acceptance  Threat/reality ignites change