John Temple Reflects on Building an Online Newspaper

Question: How did you adapt the Rocky Mountain News to the internet revolution?

Temple:    Well, let’s start in 2005, the most significant thing we did then was launch a citizen journalism initiative called YourHub.Com.  We decided that what had happened in the newspaper market is people wanted news closer to home and that we were not providing that and other news organizations were and they were making revenue off of it and it was taking money away from our business, money that we needed to survive.  So instead of starting weekly newspapers, what we did was start community websites.  We started 42 websites serving the entire metro area, all the communities in it and then we reversed published from the web system and produced 18 print sections that went out to households on Thursday with the newspaper.  And the whole idea was to engage the community more and take advantage of the strength of people having digital cameras or having their own laptops and really bring them into our community and let them… let us become more the platform or the moderator for them rather than the distributor to them.  And that was the most significant effort we made on the website, the other thing we did was we kept trying to push the newsroom to become more and more web oriented, recognizing that the revenue wasn’t there yet, we knew that we had to try to own that space and we really wanted to try to grow faster than our competitors online and it’s a very, very competitive space and very difficult to do but we put that emphasis on it and one of the ways that we did it for example was I gave the staff a sort of a media audit, we have staff meetings and when they came into the room, I told them, “Tell me… I’m going to give a grid… until this point today, mark down how much time you’ve spent doing the various activities, watching television news, reading news on the internet, talking on your cellphone, sending e-mail, reading magazines, reading books, etc. etc. all media,” and in all those staff meetings, at the end of the meeting, we had collated the results and in every single case, it showed us that these print journalists were spending more time news online than they were reading print and the goal there was to send the message to everybody that if we were doing this, just imagine what people who are not paid to produce print journalism are doing.  So, we have to be where the user is, we can’t tell the user, “Come to us.”  We’ve got to go where the user wants to be in and meet their needs and I think that helped us and we kept pushing to become a more web-oriented organization.

John Temple Reflects on Building an Online Newspaper.

In U.S. first, drug company faces criminal charges for distributing opioids

It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.

George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
  • It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
  • Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
Keep reading Show less

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Calling out Cersei Lannister: Elizabeth Warren reviews Game of Thrones

The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.

Photo credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
  • Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
  • Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
Keep reading Show less