It’s a lot easier to say you want to move from print-first to digital-first than it is to actually do it


Large newspaper companies are struggling with a very real-world version of Clay Christensen’s “Innovator’s Dilemma” — namely, the need to transition from a print-focused business model to a digital one, with all the mess and upheaval that entails. But how do you actually take a chain of almost a hundred small daily and weekly newspapers and transform those newsrooms in real time? That’s what Digital First Media is trying to do with what it calls Project Unbolt, a new effort that CEO John Paton launched earlier this week.

The name, Paton said in a presentation to the Online Publishers Association, comes from the way in which traditional media entities often see digital or online publishing as something they “bolt on” to their existing processes, which he argued is exactly the wrong way to approach the problem — and in fact dooms anyone who does approach it that way to…

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