Franklin Offers New Opportunity for Poynter/Times

Tim Franklin, President, The Poynter Institute
Tim Franklin, President, The Poynter Institute

This week the Tampa Bay Times announced buyouts in advance of job reductions, the result of continued declines in revenue and circulation. Just five months ago the Times implemented a pay-wall while Amazon’s Jeff Bezo’s made a significant investment in a failing industry by purchasing the Washington Post

With the Post purchase in October I reiterated my January 2012 appeal that the Times and The Poynter Institute are uniquely positioned to work with Google to figure out how journalism will regain financial stability in the future.

It has been over four years since Google’s Eric Schmidt openly offered to “work with publishers to help them build bigger audiences, better engage readers, and make more money” and the Time’s Paul Tash grilled Schmidt on intellectual property rights.

Poynter announced in January that Tim Franklin would be the new president of the organization and that “his professional passions are for journalism and education,” making Poynter “the perfect fit for those two passions.” The announcement also confirmed a Tampa Tribune story from June 2012 that the Times was “no longer a ‘viable’ source for support” financially for Poynter.

As an avid reader of the Times and strong advocate for the value of quality journalism I hope that Franklin will make the connection to Schmidt that Tash and former Poynter president Karen Dunlap have yet to make.

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