The Mercury News has launched an initiative called “Rethinking the Mercury News” where employees of the paper will, among other things, shadow ordinary people to watch how they use the news media. Details of the project can be found at www.mercurynewsphoto.com/rethink/ and the effort is being spearheaded by Deputy Managing Editor Matt Mansfield.
The introduction to the project includes these statements:
- “We all look at our slumping circulation and revenue numbers and wonder what kind of changes it will take to grow – or even keep – our audience. The good news is that we can find out. The answers lie in the people who walk, talk, drive, shop, and read among us every day. …
“We’ll also be listening for what they don’t say, along with what they do. We’ll also observe them — how they interact with our printed pages and Web site, how they find information in general, and how the media weave into the fabric of their days.
“Think of this as going out on a story assignment or cold calling customers — but rolling that process back a notch. Rather than selling a specific product or researching a specific story, we’re simply looking for insights. Later on, we’ll work on turning those insights into ideas. Our only agenda is to discover what our agenda should be.”
The photo above is apparently from the Merc’s library and was posted by Mansfield on the Facebook site that has been established for this reinvention project. The picture shows Merc veteran Willys Peck on the copy desk. Anyone know the year?