Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two things happened simultaneously

The crumbling of the newspaper business model (Cragislist supplanted the classifieds, etc.)
and the end of the acceptance of a hierarchical news model.

Now there are all kinds of experiments that involve getting people to pay for news online. Here's one from Slovakia.

Part of the problem is that the 'Net as an advertising meeting has never quite clicked, even though clicking is something you can track really well. 35 percent of media us = 14 percent of ad dollars, a trend which is leveling off. 8 percent of web users account for 85 percent of click-throughs. Example.

One of the first things to get ditched was explanatory journalism:

Technology is further shifting power to newsmakers, and the newest way is through their ability to control the initial accounts of events. For now at least, digital technology is shifting more emphasis and resources toward breaking news. Shrinking newsrooms are asking their remaining ranks to produce first accounts more quickly and feed multiple platforms. This is focusing more time on disseminating information and somewhat less on gathering it, making news people more reactive and less proactive. It is also leading to a phenomenon in which the first account from newsmakers — their press conferences and press releases — make their way to the public often in a less vetted form, sometimes close to verbatim. Those first accounts, sculpted by official sources, then can rapidly spread more widely now through the power of the Web to disseminate, gaining a velocity they once lacked. That is followed quickly by commentary. What is squeezed is the supplemental reporting that would unearth more facts and context about events. We saw this clearly in a study of news in Baltimore, but it is reinforced in discussions with news people. While technology makes it easier for citizens to participate, it is also giving newsmakers more influence over the first impression the public receives.

We should probably talk a bit about the Courant.

No comments: