My man Charles Fishman passed this along (and even if you don’t much cotton to business journalism, his bestseller The Wal-Mart Effect is a virtuoso example of explanatory narrative and Fast Company is a treat to read every month).
20 June, the last day of spring 2006
Well, gang, here’s a great answer to the question: How can newspapers fix what’s wrong? You gotta love Ben Bradlee:
LEHRER: Do you think that the newspapers, faced with this decline in circulation, should reexamine what they’re doing?
BRADLEE: They’re examining, reexamining it. Boy, that’s topic A. Every, every paper you go to, they’ve just had a meeting and they’re discussing what to do about falling circulation. And there’s one word is the answer.
LEHRER: What is it?
BRADLEE: Good stories.
LEHRER: So, when you say stories, what stories are they not doing, kinds of stories that they’re not doing?
BRADLEE: Well, I mean, they’re just well written stories, some story that makes you, you know, say I’ll be damned, that’s a good story.