As I caught up on my reading over the last few weeks, burning through issues of the Economist, the New Yorker, Wired, Fortune, Forbes, Rolling Stone, Portfolio, BusinessWeek etc. and so on, I discovered the single biggest threat to the future of business journalism — and it’s not blogs, it’s not wireless internet on airplanes, it’s not the collapse of the subprime market, it’s not Rupert Murdoch — it is the potential collapse of the luxury watch market.
Deborah Potter: He wants to hire people who are using new tools … and who also bring something else–a sense of purpose. He asks applicants why they want to work in a failing industry and he expects them to have an answer beyond, “I want to write.” Think about it. Be prepared.
David Zinczenko: One of the strange conventions of science fiction film and television shows has been the idea that in the future, we will all dress alike. From “Twilight Zone” reruns to movies like The Matrix, Aeon Flux, and I, Robot, citizens of the distant future seem, for no obvious reason, to have given up the idea of dressing themselves as individuals. In the future, fashion is apparently doomed.
Robert McChesney: I don’t think there’s any question, legally or constitutionally or theoretically, that journalism is a necessary public good for our constitutional system to work
Mark Glaser: For every person let go who used to run newspaper presses, there would likely be another web developer added. For every person who drove a bulky TV newsvan around, there would be a search engine optimization expert added.
1) Stop giving away the news and charging for the olds.
2) Start featuring archived stuff on the paper’s website.
3) Link outside the paper. .
4) Start following, and linking to, local bloggers and even competing papers
5) Start looking toward the best of those bloggers as potential stringers.
6 ) Start looking to citizen journalists (CJs) for coverage of hot breaking local news topics
7) Stop calling everything “content”.
8 ) Uncomplicate your webistes.
9 ) Get hip to the Live Web.
10) publish Rivers of News
11) Remember the higher purpose behind the most informative writing — and therefore behind newspapers as well.
Andy Kessler: Last I checked, the Star Trek Holodeck, despite a Wikipedia entry, is still fiction. No one is teleporting a newspaper to your home anytime soon. Unlike music which can be copied once and stolen a million times, newspapers live in the material world. Thankfully, as an author, it’s the same for books. Even a 30-inch screen can’t match the readability of what cheaply spits out of a printing press.
There’s “What’s wrong with the professional media”: Many people still get much of their information from the pros, but they feel more and more that the professional media either (a) doesn’t portray the world the way they see it or (b) gets too much factual stuff wrong to deserve its pedestal. Blogging, Dave Winer told the journalists in the room, is simply “your sources going around the blockage.”
There’s “what’s wrong with blogging”: Bloggers typically work alone, they don’t have travel budgets and editors, they lack both the institutional framework and the professional tradition to support the creation of a full report on the events of the world. Keen’s critique goes further; he says bloggers are “either irreverent, narcissistic or pornographic.”
There’s “how do we rescue journalism now that the business model is falling apart” — complete with mentions of newsroom layoffs, arguments about Craigslist’s impact on classified ad revenue, and laments about the importance of rescuing in-depth journalism from the wreckage of the newspaper business.
via scott rosenberg
Mark McKinnon: Presidents … ought to determine who they want to talk to and when they want to talk to them
Jarvis:What would you do with The New York Times Company? I’ll start that ball rolling:
I’d get out of Boston while the gettin’s good (or not as bad as it will inevitably be).
I’d get out of the paper business. I’d get rid of the regional papers and TV stations while there are still buyers.
I’d then use that equity to try to buy more About.com’s (too bad Primedia didn’t almost ruin more businesses like that) and other things that look very little like the Times: social businesses, commerce businesses, technology businesses.
I’d look to create lots of new products unencumbered by the weight, hubris, expectations, and rules of the Times brand.
I’d consider making the Times a purely national brand and …
..do something radical locally, where it’s just not that big (for example, making metro a web product under a different brand, if need be, to make it more collaborative).
I’d consider how the Herald-Tribune and Times can become a stronger international presence, but online only.
Rather than establishing a lab of outsiders to try to influence the future of the institution, I’d mix in people from the inside and give them the mandate to blow up the place.
Jarvis: about a week ago, Facebook made noises about launching classifieds and now MySpace has made a deal to take on job ads. This is the next stage of the classified meltdown. Stage 1: They move from newspapers to new services, like Craigslist and Monster, online. Stage 2: They move into communities like Facebook and Myspace. Phase 3, yet to come: They are distributed, no longer in a centralized marketplace, and technology brings them together.
Schmidt: the most obvious use of the internet in politics is as a truth detector: We can look up what politicians have said and we can refute fact.
Keen: the internet is used to “publish everything from uninformed political commentary, to unseemly home videos, to embarrassingly amateurish music, to unreadable poems, reviews, essays, and novels.”
Jarvis: But nothing else? No reporting? No fact-checking? No new talent making new video? No thoughtful reviews? No new independent music? No new tools for education? I acknowledge the bad on the internet — the unbearable blogs, the flaming fart jokes, and worse, the people who use the medium as their outlet for hate — just as I remind its opponents of the bad books, movies, songs, and, yes, newspapers produced by the old media world. But in either case, does the bad negate all the good? Of course, not.
Keen:If we keep up this pace, there will be over five hundred million blogs by 2010, collectively corrupting and confusing popular opinion about everything from politics, to commerce, to arts and culture.