This week, Editor & Publisher announced its 8th annual, "10 That Do It Right," a top ten not for the top ten best newspapers, but for ten who are doing exceptionally well in one particular aspect - from marketing to online video, investigative journalism to interactive features - "that merits consideration and maybe even emulation by their peers."
The Journal Sentinel's top leadership is commited to maintianing their 10-person, investigative journalism team, huge for this economic climate.
The Current-Argus recently implemented a new recruiting strategy for carriers -- recruit people who don't need the job (but will take it on to earn the extra $500-$700 a month). Not only did attrrition drop from almost 20% a month to nearly zero, but the paper is actually saving money.
The Times-Dispatch holds regular "Public Square" community discussions and have also hosted eight News Roundtables to hear criticism, observations, and recommendations about the paper's coverage. That's on top of the monthly Listening Tour, when Silvestri and other top executives and editors visit one of its 20 core communities to get to better know newsmakers and readers."
USA Today's has created a social media site, "Cruise Log." "Everyone can be an author and distribute content easily, but USA Today adds the judgment and guidance that traditional journalists have always provided."
The Las Vegas paper has launched hugely successful industry-specific job sites. Almost immediately the sites exceeded revenue projections by about 40%, earning about $40,000 a month. They paid for themselves in the first month, said Chelle Bize, the paper's recruitment advertising manager.
Jon Busdeker and Chris Welch, two A&E writes for The Huntsville Times have developed a comedy routine, of sorts. The Wednesday webcast previews the Thursday addition and helps drive print sales.
"Busdeker and Welch perform parodies of Blue Man Group performances, wield mops as swords to preview movies, and exchange white-trash talking with actors from "The American Trailer Park Musical."
The Herald recently introduced The Daily Beachcomber, a free tabloid for the Hampton beach season. Hampton's beaches are a big market between the end of the school year and Labor Day. As many as 120,000 show up on a good day; the free paper has turned a 28% profit margin.
"'It's a mix of hard news reporting, a little boosterism, some editorial leadership, some calling people out,' Dan Haley, the paper's founder explained. 'We're not apart from the community, we don't hold ourselves apart or above [it].'"
Haley founded the Journal to provide a voice and shape the identity of the inner-city community that was establishing itself in Chicago.
The Times, Ottawa, Ill.
"Starting a newspaper subscriber loyalty program is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, that's often as much brain power as many papers invest in creating and operating the program." The Times established a unique rewards program that actually works.
Santa Barbara (Calif.) Independent
When newsroom conflicts at the rival News-Press left the Santa Barbara community looking for a new news source, the Indepdendent stepped in. "Since the summer of 2006... the News-Press has slipped in daily circulation to 35,000, while the Independent's audited pickup every Thursday is 40,000."
Source: Editor & Publisher