Study the stat sheets

Economics should be a required minor for students entering journalism. The business side of our industry has always been interlocked with the creative side. In troubled times, these sectors move closer to each other, not further apart.

Better yet, let’s change the minor to “economix,” the study of content mix and how we sell it.

A Nieman Lab post proffered intriguing ideas on this front: the 100-product future. News organizations can create bunches of products to serve the niches within their wider audiences. No, we won’t be hawking toasters and Japanese knives. However, we create a gush of content each day.

This notion centers on volume, but with technology, volume and quality do not lead to diametrically opposed worldviews. Trends in the industry now are events, ebooks and side-offers — the Nieman post highlights a Boston Globe cookbook — but the future might see apps, digital magazines, music playlists, package archive sets, photo books and more.

The Missourian released an app specifically for the 100th Homecoming last fall, and it was filled with stories and photos from the archives.

Business isn’t exactly booming, but you’d better believe that the journalism industry can and will take advantage of the tools at its disposal. My next post will focus solely on the change involved with the other side, the business end of the money/content marriage.

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