In the Guardian, I pull together thoughts on reconsidering the article, the reaction to those thoughts, and the impact on a digital-first strategy. Excerpt:
The article is no longer the atomic unit of news. It’s not dead. I didn’t kill it. But in the age of online – of “digital first,” as the Guardian defined its strategy this month – we should reconsider the article and its place. No longer do the means of production and distribution of media necessitate boxing the world into neat, squared-off spaces published once a day and well after the fact. Freed of print’s strictures, we are finding many new and sometimes better ways to gather and share information. . . .
In print-as-luxury, the article should be elevated to Economist standards, combining reporting with cogent analysis, unique perspective and brilliant commentary. Should such a newspaper be published daily? Can it meet that standard that often? Perhaps not.
Imagine if a British newspaper with tens of millions of online readers became a digital-only brand freed of the leash of the distance its trucks can drive, able to become a truly international voice. Imagine then if the once-separate Sunday sister title – printed on a more lucrative day of the week than Sunday – became a luxurious journal of reporting and commentary like Die Zeit in Germany (whose print circulation is still growing).
That’s not a recommendation, only an example of where reconsideration of the article could lead. I want to challenge assumptions about the article’s role, not whether it lives or dies. After all, I just wrote one.