If there's any industry that needs to be vigilant about evolution these days, it's the newspaper industry. To that end, Dow Jones (NYSE:DJ) said last week that it's looking at ways to minimize duplicated efforts among its various news operations, all of which overlap to some degree, given the company's unique journalistic focus on business and investing.

According to news reports, including one from Dow Jones' own Wall Street Journal, the company has named Dow Jones Newswires President Paul Ingrassia to a newly created position as vice president of news strategy for the company. Ingrassia will lead the charge as the company examines its various news operations. And yes, they are myriad -- it's not just Dow Jones Newswires and the venerated Wall Street Journal, but also Barron's and online news site MarketWatch.

All of Dow Jones' news products appeal to folks who are either investors or interested in business news and information, although they appeal to different sectors of the larger demographic. The company said in its memo from last week that it wants to look at ways to create more "unique, differentiating content" and reduce "commoditized" content.

Just last month, Dow Jones said it has given another executive -- Ann Sarnoff, formerly of Viacom (NYSE:VIA) -- the task of reassessing Dow Jones' digital ventures, with an eye toward expanding into new markets and pursuing new customers.

Anybody who tracks this industry knows that newspapers are exhibiting some weakness this quarter -- and that's not too surprising, given the long-standing trend. Tribune (NYSE:TRB), Media General (NYSE:MEG), Journal Register (NYSE:JRC), and Gannett (NYSE:GCI), which distributes the well-known and colorful newspaper USA Today, all reported rather lackluster quarters, which were blamed on falling circulation and print advertising's decline as Internet advertising gains in popularity. Recent retail weakness also took some of the blame for depressing these companies' abilities to advertise. Dow Jones and New York Times (NYSE:NYT) are due to report their earnings later this week.

The Dow Jones memo cited in the article brought up the obvious catalyst here -- technology is changing the way news is consumed and distributed, and it's posing many threats to traditional newspaper businesses. Companies like Dow Jones are smart to make sure their strategies are nimble and their content is differentiated. After all, it seems clear that the companies best able to evolve will be the ones that will survive the best. (I'd argue that Dow Jones is particularly well positioned, given its high-profile brands and formidable Web presence, although that certainly doesn't give it reason to slack off.) We'll hear many more such stories of newspaper companies taking long, hard looks at their operations as they seek to change with the times.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.