Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Truth Will Set You Free

The truth is finally making its way out to the media about my trial. Well, some of the media. I've checked through the local papers and looked on the internet hack sites, but no one seems to care that transcripts with important points from my trial are now out there.

Let me tell you a little about publishing. It's not like being the editor. Editors just sit in their offices all day and say "this story will get traction" or "that angle won't work, find another one". Every once and a while editors will also get a story idea and tell a reporter to go out and report on it. Then the editors check in with each other and see how the paper turned out. Big deal.

It's not like that for publishers and managers. They have to direct everything that's happening for their paper. They have to know how their business is doing, whether they are succeeding, getting people to purchase their paper. They have to also know their market, like how other papers are doing. And not just papers, but other places advertisers are placing ads.

If you read my testimony, you'll see that management at newspapers get information on competing papers in their markets. They do this because a lot of those papers don't have similar sized competition in their area, so it's tough to set benchmarks to measure success. You can't know how successful you are or aren't unless you have a way to measure. You also can't measure performance.

Take Tiger for example. If Tiger didn't play with any other golfers, he wouldn't know if he was good or not. But when he beats everyone for the PGA Championship, he knows and everyone else knows how awesome he is at golf. And playing with other pro players on different courses, he can also see where his game needs improvement.

It's the same with publishing. We need to know how we're doing. And some of us are like Tiger. We're good, but we still care about improving our game. If our paper is losing money from not managing the labor line, we need to work on that part of game. But we can't work on it unless we know it's a problem.

Here's a question for you. If it's okay to get information for benchmarks on papers in totally different parts of the Midwest, why wouldn't it be okay to use the information you compiled yourself for the last several years at a paper that's in the same city? It's like Tiger from this year playing against Tiger from a few years ago!

Hopefully more of the trial will make its way out. It's helpful to clear up the misconceptions people have on what really happened.

(And congratulations on the PGA Championship, Tiger.)

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