Fascinating. So first I just came across the website Newspaper Death Watch, and I must say I find its perspective fascinating. Secondly, while on the site, I came across an interview with two documentary filmmakers – Adam Chadwick and Bill Loerch – who are producing a documentary called Fit to Print, about the decline of the Newspaper industry in the U.S., I believe with a specific focus on the New York Times. Anyway, here’s the clip:
Interesting times, and yet a time that arouses compassion also.
Steve Buttry is one of the old-school media guys/gals who’s trying to reinvent journalism and local newspaper business models for the digital age. In April 2009, he published a blog post titled A Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection, where he lays out his vision for the transformation of media companies for a digital age.
In the video below, Buttry talks about some of his ideas for how local media organizations have to reinvent their relationships with their community:
Buttry is the the C3 (Complete Community Connection) Innovation Coach for Gazette Communications in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Gazette’s website.
Yet another example of mainstream media seeking to reinvent themselves in a time of great change.
The usual great insights from Jeff Jarvis in this interview with Gordon Borrell of Borrell Associates.
Quoting Jarvis from the interview:
Look at Washington. Jim Brady and company are starting Politico Local. And at someone said at a conference I was at recently, “It’s a lot easier to build that from the ground up, than to take the Washington Post and make it into Politico Local.” That’s the problem we have here. We have companies that have 1,000-1,500 employees that are going to be working in a world where it’s probably a 100-person company. And the pain and struggle – both economically and culturally – of going from 1,500 to 100 is probably impossible for them. And that’s really the issue. They’re trying to maintain their old cost structure, and that’s the problem we don’t talk about here.
The crux of the matter IMO.
Following up on these comments, Jarvis also restates his recent thoughts that Newspaper co’s must use the opportunity that bankruptcy protection provides to fundamentally restructure and reinvent their businesses. See also Bankruptcy Squandered and The Opportunity of Bankruptcy.
So with the new year fast approaching (like 10 hours away), I thought I’d aggregate some of the best insight in 2009 into the future of News Media. As I work in the Publishing industry for a large Canadian media company, I’m going to exclude (for the most part) trends in the Broadcast (i.e. TV) industry, and focus specifically on online journalism.
Insights from a handful of Thought Leaders
So here it goes, links to posts from a handful of thought leaders that provide a good overview of the changing world of News Media as we enter 2010.
One could do worse than review the top Jeff Jarvis posts of the past year to get a feel for the future of news media. Here are some of my favorite Jarvis posts of the past 6 months or so:
- A Scenario for (Local) News
- The annotated world
- Bankruptcy Squandered
- Page & Brin: Icons of the decade
- Google’s synchronicity
- Content farms v. curating farmers
- Media after the site
- The new divide: Walled v. open
- New Business Models for News talk
- The opportunity of bankruptcy
- The balance shifts
- The future of business is in ecosystems
- The future of news is entrepreneurial
- NewBizNews & Hyperpersonal news streams
- Aspen: live
- New Business Models for News Project
- The new news
Vadim Lavruiski at Mashable
Kevin Sablan had an interesting post a few days ago titled 2009, the year social media covered journalism. He makes the point that, in 2009, many social media blogs started to prominently cover the news media industry. No site did this better than Mashable, and no blogger at Mashable did this better than Vadim Lavruiski. Here are my favorite posts from Lavruiski over the past several months:
- 10 News Media Content Trends to Watch in 2010
- 8 News Media Business Trends for 2010
- 12 Things Newspapers Should Do to Survive
- 7 Ways News Media are Becoming More Collaborative
- 8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist
*** Updated January 2 2009 ***
The other news media visionary that looms large over the landscape (that does not work for Google!) is media socialogist Clay Shirky. For a wonderful exploration of the core challenges facing newspapers in the rapidly-changing media environment, please see my blog post Clay Shirky on the future of Journalism – Shorenstein Center talk from Sept 09.
*** End of update ***
Top Trends for 2010
There has also been many posts in recent days on top trends in both news media and the Web generally. Here’s a sampling.
Top News Media Trends for 2010 – Additional Posts
A collection of posts on top news media trends for 2010:
- Media Predictions for 2010 – Pat Kitano
- Out on a limb again: Predictions for 2010 – Martin Langeveld
- 10 trends in journalism in 2010 – Adam Westbrook
- Trends 2010: Hyperlocal – The Guardian
- Seven Predictions for 2010 from eMarketer’s CEO – Geoff Ramsey
Top Web/Digital Media Trends for 2010
A collection of posts on top Web/Digital Media trends in 2010, and a review of Google’s 2009:
- ReadWriteWeb’s Top 5 Web Trends of 2009 – Richard MacManus
- 10 Web trends to watch in 2010 – Pete Cashmore
- Web Meets World – My blog post referencing Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle
- 5 Big Real-Time Web Trends of 2009 – by Samuel Axon at Mashable
- 10 Ways Social Media Will Change In 2010 – Ravit Lichtenberg
- Top 10 Mobile Predictions for 2010 – Millennial Media
- Mobile Advertising: 5 Things You Need to Know to Succeed in 2010
- Google’s 2009: A Glimpse of the Web’s Next Decade
Technology/Spaces I’ll be watching in 2010
And finally, here’s some key technologies and spaces I’ll be watching closely and spending time learning about in 2010 (in the rough order that they occurred to me):
- Social Web and Social Media
- Online Identity
- Real-time Web
- Web meets World
- Google, Facebook, and Twitter
- Machine Learning/Collective Intelligence
- Semantic Web
- HyperLocal and Community
- Image Recognition
- Augmented Reality
- Media Revenue Models
- Business Innovation
In Summary …
Well, there you have it. A quick wrap-up of key insights and trends in the changing world of News Media and related Technology. Hope you found something of value to take away. :)
Lots of great videos on the News Innovation website on all things HyperLocal from the recent NewBizNews conference held in November at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. This is a follow up to the FOCAS 2009 conference held in Aspen in August, where news industry pundits gathered together to discuss the future of journalism.
Lots of fantastic sessions on:
- Tools for HyperLocal sites: here and here
- Partnerships between Local Bloggers and mainstream metro newspapers
- Ad serving
- Journalistic Quality for independent hyperlocal newssites
- Starting a HyperLocal blog or site
- Marketing to, and Engaging the, Community
- … and much more
To get the gist of the “spirit” of the conference, please see the video below of Jeff Jarvis’ presentation to 500 German media executives earlier in the month:
A really fascinating interview with Rupert Murdoch from November 9th, 2009. Here it is:
And here’s a link to an article from Australian media magazine mUmBRELLA. What I find fascinating are the comments at the bottom of the article.
So is this the last gasp of a media dinosaur? Or are Google and the Search Engines finally being called to task for indexing newspaper content for free?
We shall see.
A very nice speech by Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer delivered at the Columbia Journalism School in in April 2009 titled How We Got Here and How We Get Out. The article is a very nice application of Clayton Christensen’s classic Innovators Dilemma (which, BTW, was originally subtitled When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail).
In a nutshell, Christensen’s book provides explore the havoc that distruptive technologies can bring to established incumbent business models, and how difficult it can be for incumbent companies to adapt to disrputive forces of change. In Lerer’s article, he applies this analysis to the Newspaper industry, and finds strong evidence that this exact scenario has occurred amongst mainstream newspaper and news media companies.
One of Christensen’s key messages in his book is that at times of disruptive change, listenging to your traditioanal customer base can be precisely the wrong strategy for transitioning to emerging business models. Lerer explores this thesis in the context of the Newspaper industry during the 1990′s and early years of 2000.
Another interesting comment from Lerer is “As a starting point, I think that online newspapers need to think of themselves as technology companies, as much as media companies”. This represents a significant change for the newspaper industry – not just regarding leveraging technology in their products and operations, but actually “operating” as technology solution providers, and everything this entails from managing product release cycles, to new product development, and so on.
Anyway, a very nice piece IMO.