April 12, 2010 Last Updated 12:42 pm

The future of newspapers? Attending conferences

The American Society of News Editors brought in the equivalent of a rock star to its conference over the week. Google CEO Eric Schmidt did not disappoint, telling the editors that the future looks bright and everything will be alright.

“We understand how fundamental your mission is,” Schmidt told the editors. “We have a business model problem. We don’t have a news problem, we’re all in this together.”

Schmidt then went on to tell the editors how to do their business. “We have a business model problem; we don’t have a news problem.”

Newspaper folk love this kind of stuff: attending conferences where people tell them what to do. I can think of no other industry with so many conferences, so many gurus, so many people willing to listen to other people who have never spent a day writing a lead, selling an ad, or delivering a newspaper.

“What we need to do is probably sweat, but sweat from hard work, figuring it all out,” Boston Globe Editor Martin Baron told Politico after the speech. “I think that’s why people are here, and that’s why they invite somebody like Eric Schmidt. If we can learn something, and apply those lessons to the way we do business, then all the better.”

So there you have it: sweat is the answer.

Comments are closed.