Newspapers are dead, long live the newsThe reader is less concerned with the future of newspapers than what happens to news itself.
Faced with onslaught with the internet, the newspapers are in a self-flageling deep funk ,what reporters would like to term as a ‘transitional phase’.
Once when they are through this difficult period, having adopted technology on a huge scale and seen off non-working existing brands, the focus will once again be on the quality of the news itself.
1. Focus will be on the next generation newspapers’ connection with their readers.
Veteran technology journalist Dean Takahashi muses,
“All newspapers thought they were in the newspaper business…they overlooked that what they are doing is communicating with people and that's the broader business.”
2. There is a huge elephant sitting in every newsroom, past and future, immortalized by the incomparable “Citizen Kane”: The Owner.
Simon Jenkins writes about the myth of “golden age of the press”.
Media Moguls, from Hearst to Murdock have always sought control of the editorial voice and the news has suffered as a result.
In this web 2.0 era, when Digg Mobs rule, blog network owners diss their rivals and companies like Google own a wide variety of online properties, the issue of control will be more intensely fought.
The company that indexes this article may also one day own the wireless spectrum and bandwidth facilities.
The mob versus the big corporation:
if either wins, news loses.
3. The quality problem (or variety, depends on who’s complaining).
- Will we see a news economy dependent on the likes of Britney Spears and celebrity circus to make money?
- Is more investigative journalism, aided by creatively funded Crowd journalism (newassignment.net) going to show the way to better news?
4. The ‘most appropriate’ news business model.
The choice is between non-profit Trusts (BBC, Guradina) versus For-profit Conglomerates (News Corp) or Family-owned outfits (New York Times, Times of India)
Whatever the future, remember guru Jeff Jarvis' words,
“There will be more news and there will be more news reporters”.
Long live the news.