Just because you see a locomotive hurtling down the track toward you doesn’t mean you can get out of the way.
Bob Ryan, former deputy managing editor and director of electronic publishing, San Jose Mercury News. Columbia Journalism Review, The Newspaper That Almost Seized the Future.
In a very long longread, Michael Schapiro explores the technological innovation — and the people behind it — that took place at the Mercury News and its former parent company Knight Ridder from the 1980s through the noughts.
What’s amazing is how well key players anticipated the rise of the Internet and mobile technologies, the disruption they would cause and an actual heavy investment in an attempt to get ahead of the curve. Or, as the article’s dek poses, “The San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley’s own daily, was poised to ride the digital whirlwind. What happened?”
An important read for those exploring the history of newspaper disruption.