If your product isn’t selling, who do you turn to? Those who help make your product? Or those who buy it?

For newspaper publishers it’s a trick question, because they’re accustomed to thinking of their customers as their readers. That’s not true: Their readers are the product, and advertisers are the customer.

Publishers “look to readers for their salvation,” as Michael Kinsley writes in Slate, suggesting that they’re disenchanted with advertisers.

But maybe they should be looking to advertisers — and making a better product for them, not just the readers.

(Note started July 2009; revisited August 2014)