The Guardian’s editor gives the definitive speech on online newspapers

The Guardian‘s editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger gave a speech that covers everything you need to know.

Did you know that the Guardian is the second-most read English-language newspaper online? I didn’t. If The New York Times moves to a pay wall model in 2011 as planned, the Guardian will be heir to the top spot.

No wonder Rusbridger is an advocate of the advice: don’t shut yourself off from the conversation everyone else is engaged in.

His speech is too “magisterial” to reduce to a sound bite like that.

What impresses me most about it is its philosophical attitude, its advice on how you need to approach what’s coming next for Web journalism. As Michael Wolff glosses it, Rusbridger has adopted a new-school temperament which–more than learning any piece of software or any new skill of storytelling is the truly most difficult thing American print journalist have in accepting the Internet era. You have to be “predisposed to open-ended discussions of a hopelessly slippery nature.” You have to be narrowly define what it is you do best and then, pace Jeff Jarvis, link to the rest.

On a side note, no wonder the Guardian‘s travel page is so excellent. This is the kind of rigorous thinking that went into its design.

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