[My opening keynote speech at the Second Annual Global Conference on Individuated Newspapers, Denver, Colorado, June 26, 2008]
Some of you here know me. Since 1993 when I began working full-time in newspaper new media, I’ve given approximately 100 speeches at conferences. I’ve given speeches at E&P, WAN, Ifra, INMA, and Seybold. But this is the speech I’ve been waiting for all those years. I may not have known it then, but I know it now.
In it, I’m going to say some heretical things. But please remember that I’m a fifth-generation newspaperman. I literally grew up in a letterpress-era newsroom, can read teletype, work a linotype, cut press plates, and run a press. I’ve sold ads. I’ve driven delivery trucks. I’ve reported, edited, and general managed a daily. I’m a professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. If I speak what sounds like heresy or I criticize this industry, know that it is because I love the newspaper business. It’s my family and my life.
The reason why this is the speech that I’ve been working up to all my life, is it distills all I know about this business and its future. The culmination of all I know as a newsman, newspaper, and professor. We’ve a bold agenda today.