Rebranding an industry

You know why there's an advertising campaign for milk? Because milk producers got together and decided it would be better for all of them if more people bought milk.

There is room yet in the online market for a highly searchable database of to-the-minute and archived news.

We have ceded too much ground. Far too few look to mcclatchy.com or gannett.com for news, though they may be loyal to its local iteration. Why would we complain about aggregation without seriously aggregating ourselves? If we see value in that, we should capitalize on it and market it, together.

Despite what polls say about confidence in "the media," we hold the public's trust on a newspaper-by-newspaper basis. That's what we should transfer to an online partnership of many newspapers.

We should combine that trust with ease of use through a new international news partnership of media companies coalesced into a single fully searchable, journalist-vetted news site providing coverage from every corner of the world and marketed as a new online product backed by 370 years of reputation.

The name isn't particularly important, but I call it SearchNews.com: Your news source for the next 200 years.

We are not merely re-packaging our news gathering and research powers, we are re-branding this vast product and marketing it as the world’s foremost news partnership, now prepared for an age of digital sharing.