Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.

I’m traveling to San Diego tonight to participate in an APME Newstrain workshop where several dozen journalists will gather to brush up their skills and hopefully learn something new. (It was originally scheduled for last year, but postponed due to the California wildfires.)

My first session is “Covering Communities in New, Cost-effective Ways.” This is more marketable than reinventing journalism, but not much different in my view.

Reinvention is too big for most editors and publishers. And it sounds expensive at a time when expense budgets have been squeezed dry.

So we’ll talk about social networking, user generated content, etc. But the elephant in the room will be how much different today’s local news operation needs to be.

It won’t happen overnight. But a little change, a little progress every day can move the needle. Baby steps.

As MGM Mirage Inc. Chief Executive Terry Lanni told the APME conference attendees recently, quoting U.S. Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Shinseki:

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

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