|Four — the clearest thing management could have done better was to recognize earlier what business they were in. In particular, letting the online classified market slip away was a preventable error. Everyone might be posting their free classified on NYTList.com had someone really smart come up with that idea. The pageviews involved would have been a huge additional asset to the nytimes.com website and it would have been one newspaper undercutting the competition rather than all newspapers being undercut by a guy named Craig.|
Further, let's not pretend that newspapers are doing a terribly good job of reporting the news. Most newspaper stories don't tell you anything but just fill up space. For example, here's a story from today's Washington Post with the intriguing headline "Webb Sets His Sights on Prison Reform." Read this story and try to find one detail of what Webb is proposing, or a piece of analysis, or anything. 90% of the story is Webb's biography, which could have been attached to a story about Senator Webb taking a dump.