McLellan describes 'newspaper replacement syndrome' and other challenges facing independent publishers

Reynolds Journalism Institute

Michele McLellan describes the challenges journalists face as they build independent news sites. The first stage of grief, as she calls it, is "newspaper replacement syndrome," in which people "visualize themselves creating a newspaper on the Web, ignoring the fact that this is a failed model. Instead, publishers who make it to the next stage focus early on about how to create community -- and value around the content." The other stages:

  • "Engagement stress disorder," the feeling of being overwhelmed by everything publishers must do to connect with their audiences
  • "Sales-phobia," as journalists deal with the reality that they must sell to survive
  • "Capacity conundrum," the challenge of being able to expand to take advantage of opportunities
  • Growth



Related: Hyperlocal site RiverheadLocal looks for lessons in sustainability at Block by Block summit | How to: Lisa Williams lists 10 skills independent publishers should masterFollow Twitter conversation related to the Block by Block conference.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.

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