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Thread: The Future of News

  1. #1
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    Default The Future of News

    This FT blog by Gideon Rachman says (news) that the Guardian has announced it intends to cut back news and increase comment. It estimates the cost of keeping a foreign correspondent overseas as £500,000 a year.

    http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2011/0...#axzz1scwSDa2Q

    It also says (opinion) that this is a bad thing.


    The irony, of course, is that for comment to have any value, it relies on a decent supply of facts – otherwise it is just vulgar prejudice. So if the number of commentators goes up, and the number of journalists actually providing the facts goes down – then the whole debate is impoverished. Certainly in my world, of foreign news, you can see that the number of foreign correspondents maintained by the big western news organisations has been going down steadily. Because, of course, its not just the Guardian that is in trouble. So are other stalwarts of the news world – from Le Monde to Newsweek to the New York Times.
    This isn't a new issue, but it isn't going to go away. The explosion of global internet content, both news and comment, is putting traditional media under pressure. The question is, to what extent is news really under threat ? The need for "overseas" correspondents is surely easily replaced by using local journalists? News coverage has got wider, not narrower, with the internet. Investigative journalism is still driven by whistleblowers as much as by the occasional exceptional journalist.

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    Default Re: The Future of News

    As a voracious consumer of News/Opinion/Analysis etc. I tend to agree with Rachmann. There’s an awful lot of stuff on the net, including an awful lot of junk. But there is still only 24 hours in the day in which to consume. So, I prefer to give my time to news sources I deem reliable if not always comfortable with. Never use HuffPo on principle, even though they just won a Pulitzer. Heard a Middle Eastern journalist on NPR today excoriate RT for their coverage of Syria, mostly on the grounds that Russia has sold Syria most of its weaponry. .
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information. Benjamin Disraeli
    Secrecy is for losers. For people who do not know how important the information really is.
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan - Secrecy: The American Experience (1998)

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    Default Re: The Future of News

    Paywalls for content will be the norm in three to four years time. We'll look back with nostalgia to the golden days of the news internet in the noughties when we could read anything, anywhere.

  4. #4
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: The Future of News

    £500,000.
    Sounds a bit high.
    But there again, the Phnom Penh AFP bureau that I ran in the 90s cost about $150,000 when I add up office/residence rent, car, interpreter/assistant journo, stringers, office manager, guard, cleaner, cook, fly in tech assistance and my local hire salary of $30,000 plus a snapper at the same rate.
    If you were a non local French hire, the salary would be double
    Made a profit cos Cambodia was a relatively big story at the time and it was a news agency not a paper so the coverage sold to a wider clientele.

    They only people entering this sphere these days seem to be countries with an agenda eg RT

    State actors are fine if you have time to filter and sus out the various competing the agendas.

    But the death of relatively neutral sources is worrying if you don't have time on your hands.

    And the net while liberating requires time.

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    Default Maidir Le: The Future of News

    Two knocks at RT in four posts. They must have upset someone. As though all media isn't agenda-driven.... News media is (unevenly) informative, but is always partial. RT is no different in that way from al Jazeera, Le Monde or the BBC.

    The question I asked in the OP is whether or not there really is serious degradation of the reach and cover of news reporting. This argument is being put forward by the print publishers who are under pressure, and I was at first inclined to accept it as fact. But as yet, I haven't seen evidence for it. There seems to me to be more, not less, news available.

    Of news gathered on the ground by international agencies like AP, only a very small proportion of it ever reached the public. The news we read is heavily coloured by the prejudices and assumptions of the broadcaster or publisher.

    Interesting to hear that Huffington Post won a Pulitzer. I have no great regard for the Pulitzer, any more than I do for the Nobel Peace Prize. But it is an indication that online media can tick the same boxes as print.

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    Default Re: The Future of News

    The journalist who criticized RT was Abderrahim Foukara Washington bureau chief of AJ Arabic. He was responding to a caller who praised RT. Excoriating was too strong a word.

    When I clicked on the IT recently I got a pop-up asking me to sign up for their forthcoming email alert service. These are common in the US, and it’s a sure sign that IT is feeling the heat. With these email alerts WaPo for example, will recommend not just its own stuff but NYT and others also.

    You can watch full 25 minute episodes or individual clips from 11 separate programs discussing the future of news at the link below.

    http://www.newseum.org/programs/futu...ews/index.html
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information. Benjamin Disraeli
    Secrecy is for losers. For people who do not know how important the information really is.
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan - Secrecy: The American Experience (1998)

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    Default Maidir Le: Re: The Future of News

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    The journalist who criticized RT was Abderrahim Foukara Washington bureau chief of AJ Arabic. He was responding to a caller who praised RT. Excoriating was too strong a word.

    When I clicked on the IT recently I got a pop-up asking me to sign up for their forthcoming email alert service. These are common in the US, and it’s a sure sign that IT is feeling the heat. With these email alerts WaPo for example, will recommend not just its own stuff but NYT and others also.

    You can watch full 25 minute episodes or individual clips from 11 separate programs discussing the future of news at the link below.

    http://www.newseum.org/programs/futu...ews/index.html
    And another one. Has an order been issued from above to batter RT ? I saw that a virulent opinion piece on it was published in the IT, under the guise of news. Does this mean military intervention in Syria/Iran (delete as applicable) is imminent ?

    It would be convenient for the US establishment to have a total domination of world news reporting, but it is hardly realistic to expect this to be feasible.

  8. #8
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: Maidir Le: The Future of News

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Two knocks at RT in four posts. They must have upset someone. As though all media isn't agenda-driven.... News media is (unevenly) informative, but is always partial. RT is no different in that way from al Jazeera, Le Monde or the BBC.

    The question I asked in the OP is whether or not there really is serious degradation of the reach and cover of news reporting. This argument is being put forward by the print publishers who are under pressure, and I was at first inclined to accept it as fact. But as yet, I haven't seen evidence for it. There seems to me to be more, not less, news available.

    Of news gathered on the ground by international agencies like AP, only a very small proportion of it ever reached the public. The news we read is heavily coloured by the prejudices and assumptions of the broadcaster or publisher.

    Interesting to hear that Huffington Post won a Pulitzer. I have no great regard for the Pulitzer, any more than I do for the Nobel Peace Prize. But it is an indication that online media can tick the same boxes as print.
    There are degrees...which you can allow for.
    I supposed you could make the argument that allowing your bias take on a cartoon dimension is better than a sneaky subtle one.
    But back to time, I don't really have the time to play chess with competing cartoon news sources.
    When RT helps bring down Putin the way the Washington Post did to Nixon, I'll look at it in a somewhat more serious manner.

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    Default Re: The Future of News

    CF, your capacity to imagine and propound conspiracy theories never ceases to amaze. That said, I do believe the order has been issued from on high to batter RT, and now even AJ are drinking the US Kool Aid. And all right-thinking people fervently believe it would be in everyone’s best interest if all media was controlled by the US (east coast) establishment.

    As to Syria/Iran, there have been some rumblings recently that the Obama girls of Libya fame; Hillary/Susan/Stephanie are anxious to give someone a stiletto in the neck. Ya couldn’t be up to them. Don’t suppose you were at Stephanie’s wedding in Kerry a couple of years ago? I couldn’t make it meself.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information. Benjamin Disraeli
    Secrecy is for losers. For people who do not know how important the information really is.
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan - Secrecy: The American Experience (1998)

  10. #10
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: Maidir Le: Re: The Future of News

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    And another one. Has an order been issued from above to batter RT ? I saw that a virulent opinion piece on it was published in the IT, under the guise of news. Does this mean military intervention in Syria/Iran (delete as applicable) is imminent ?

    It would be convenient for the US establishment to have a total domination of world news reporting, but it is hardly realistic to expect this to be feasible.
    Are you talking about the review of Assange's interview with Nasrallah?

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    Default Maidir Le: Re: Maidir Le: Re: The Future of News

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Bar View Post
    Are you talking about the review of Assange's interview with Nasrallah?
    It was. I have no objection to it being published, but not as news.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Future of News

    New Orleans, N’Awlins to you, becomes the largest city in the US without a daily print newspaper. The Times-Picayune announced it will now print only three days a week. newsroom employment is expected to fall from 150 to 100.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information. Benjamin Disraeli
    Secrecy is for losers. For people who do not know how important the information really is.
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan - Secrecy: The American Experience (1998)

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    Default Re: The Future of News

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    CF, your capacity to imagine and propound conspiracy theories never ceases to amaze. That said, I do believe the order has been issued from on high to batter RT, and now even AJ are drinking the US Kool Aid. And all right-thinking people fervently believe it would be in everyone’s best interest if all media was controlled by the US (east coast) establishment.

    As to Syria/Iran, there have been some rumblings recently that the Obama girls of Libya fame; Hillary/Susan/Stephanie are anxious to give someone a stiletto in the neck. Ya couldn’t be up to them. Don’t suppose you were at Stephanie’s wedding in Kerry a couple of years ago? I couldn’t make it meself.
    I think you mean Samantha. I kept a close eye on it. Her husband is no friend of internet community rights.

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    Default Re: The Future of News

    Two pieces on the future of news written from different perspectives but arriving at the same conclusion.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/bu...ef=todayspaper

    Last Wednesday night on the rooftop of the Gramercy Park Hotel, all the signs of the classic magazine launch party were on display: an open bar ringed by thirsty media reporters, groaning trays of shrimp, a D.J. playing music just soft enough that it didn’t drown out the chatter. The proud editor showed off his new product, the woman who is its namesake held court a few feet away, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning contributor was surrounded by a cluster of partygoers
    The print media business being what it is, it’s been a while since I’ve attended one of those events, but there is a comforting sameness to them — the optimism, the belief in the new baby, all pink and freshly hatched.

    Except this magazine didn’t emerge from one of Manhattan’s publishing titans, it was not named after a major media doyenne like Oprah or Martha, and a few years ago we wouldn’t have even called it a magazine.
    When I started writing a media column seven years ago, parties like these were routine: the magazine business was still on the march and the newspaper business was twice as big as it is now. The Huffington Post? It was a curio cooked up by some woman named Arianna that seemed like a showcase for her and her famous friends.

    Now, it was Ms. Huffington who was introducing a sleek new magazine, an online weekly called Huffington that will be available for tablet via the Apple Store. It was one more signal in a week full of them that the velocity of transformation is growing.

    Time Inc., a stubborn holdout from the deals publishers made with Apple to be on the iPad, gave in last week. There were reports that the Justice Department, which is already going after traditional book publishers over the price of e-books, was investigating whether cable providers were trying to strangle nascent Web-based competitors. Twitter announced it was planning deeper media offerings, while NBC said two of its comedies would have their debuts next fall in an ad-free format, mirroring the Web’s mostly sponsor-free offerings.

    Just in case I didn’t get the point that the future is landing on the past with both boots, the former headquarters of The New York Times is being marketed as a new home for digital companies with amenities like scooters and Ping-Pong tables. Both Amazon and Facebook have stopped by to kick the tires.

    Huffington is a particularly acute reminder of how much things have changed. Last year, The Huffington Post was sold to AOL for $315 million, less than a year after Newsweek was sold for a dollar, and in April the site won its first Pulitzer, for David Wood’s 10-part series about wounded veterans. More unique Web visitors now go to The Huffington Post each month than The New York Times, according to the research company comScore.

    I’ve written before that The Huffington Post may be one of the fastest build-outs of an editorial brand in history, all the while complaining that it derived a lot of value from digitally kidnapping the work of others.
    But I’ve come to understand that it doesn’t matter what I think is right and wrong, or what I think constitutes appropriate aggregation or great journalism. The market is as the market does.

    Ms. Huffington and her band of merry disrupters saw an opportunity that others did not and built up a huge business. Since AOL doesn’t break out the finances of The Huffington Post, there’s no way of knowing whether it makes or loses money. But it’s clear that The Huffington Post anticipated the trend toward information with ideology baked in, and that it saw the importance of search optimization from the get-go. Now it is moving aggressively into video, and yes, tablet space
    .
    Tim O’Brien, a former editor at The New York Times who is now at The Huffington Post, led the effort to develop the magazine, which is handsome at first blush and has been well-reviewed.

    Nobody can know whether anyone will pay $1.99 a month for a slow-mo HuffPo. Earlier attempts at online magazines have had mixed success. I’ve been of the mind-set that having the physical artifact lying on the coffee table creates the kind of guilt that makes people pick it up in a way the iPad doesn’t, but that may be old-school thinking. Hearst has sold more than 125,000 subscriptions to Cosmopolitan across all tablets and is approaching 800,000 subscriptions over all for all its magazines, according to Hearst.

    On Tuesday, I had lunch with David Carey, the president of Hearst Magazines. The Huffington Post was very much on his mind, he said, when he addressed a group of employees that day.

    “I am telling them to beware of digital upstarts that don’t follow any of the rules of big companies like ours,” he said. “Huffington Post has gone down paths that others scoffed at and they have emerged with a string of very strong products.”
    Traditional ideas about what is opinion and what is news, what is advertising and what is editorial, and the separation between content makers and consumers, are evaporating each day.

    Before Steve Jobs died, I argued with him about the terms he was offering publishers on the iPad — with Apple taking a 30 percent cut and giving companies only limited data on their customers. I predicted he’d have a tough time getting buy-in from publishers, especially Time Inc., which had always managed to make money off its relationships not just with advertisers but with consumers. Mr. Jobs pointed out that publishers received no data at all from selling on a physical newsstand and often paid for placement there.

    Mr. Jobs may be gone, but he is still winning arguments. Last week, Time Inc. announced that after two years of refusing to sell more than single copies through Apple, it had agreed to sell subscriptions to all its magazines on Apple’s newsstand. It was less about any specific concessions than a realization that it didn’t make sense for the country’s biggest magazine company not to have its product on the shelves of the biggest digital magazine seller.

    As those of us who care a great deal about The Times-Picayune in New Orleans learned last week, disruption makes no allowance for sentiment. After word of the huge layoffs there came in, I said to my digitally native colleague Brian Stelter, “Well, the future you rooted for is finally here.” To which he replied, “I didn’t root for it, I just realized it was going to happen no matter what.”

    It was that kind of week and there will be many more like it in the months and years to come. Technology has altered the media business more than most, not in one big surge, but in a series of waves, each one shifting the ground that traditional businesses were built on.

    It’s true that legacy media brands still have juice and powerful assets at their disposal. No purely digital media product has kicked up anywhere near the profits that beleaguered traditional brands still do. But smart minds will figure that out. As his lawman uncle told the sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones in “No Country for Old Men,” “You can’t stop what’s coming.”
    http://www.realclearmarkets.com/arti...ews_99724.html

    Newspapers Must Die: Long Live the News!
    By Bill Frezza
    Fear not the future. The long anticipated demise of the conventional newspaper business is a cause for celebration, not anguish. Freed from the shackles of an industrial age infrastructure that gave power to shape public opinion to a privileged few, the diverse, vibrant, self-organizing digital media market that is rising to take its place promises to end the unholy alliance between those who make the news and those purportedly devoted to "objectively" reporting it.

    Watch as the lights go out - the Baltimore Examiner, Cincinnati Post, Honolulu Advertiser, Oakland Tribune, San Juan Star. Watch as other papers enter that twilight zone of partial production before calling it quits - the Detroit Free Press, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Birmingham News, Seattle Post Intelligencer. Marvel as the stalwart Washington Post and New York Times continue to burn through piles of cash as they try to hang on to their fading power, as newspaper obituaries pile up in the Newspaper Deathwatch.

    It's not like the industry didn't have plenty of warning. As a young pup at Bell Labs back in the late 1970s, I worked with Knight Ridder Newspapers to help design and launch the first pre-Internet electronic newspaper. This was a defensive move intended to forestall the inevitable destruction of a business model that relied on a near-monopoly on local print advertising to pay for the massive printing presses, cumbersome delivery systems, and bloated union contracts required to publish a big city daily. It took longer than anyone thought, but Moore's Law shows no mercy to any technology that cannot hold its own in the game of better, faster, cheaper.

    So what hath digital wrought? News used to be delivered pre-filtered and pre-digested, spoon-fed to a passive public raised on the idea that highly trained professional journalists and their noble editors enshrined accuracy and disinterested objectivity as their highest values. Sure, there were always curmudgeons like H.L. Mencken and others who understood that this idealization of journalism didn't match reality. But it took the advent of the Internet, the blogosphere, and alternative news sources to reveal the biases and co-dependent status between the declining mainstream media and the nation's political class.

    No longer do we have to wait for someone else's selection and interpretation of yesterday's news to be delivered to our doorstep on slices of dead trees. Today, we can all be savvy, real-time news consumers. We live in a world of personal editorial control where we can shape our individual media experience using incredibly inexpensive and user friendly tools. My choices are the iPad and Zite, a news reader that scours the electronic universe for topics and editorial interpretations of the reader's choosing. Zite is tunable, timely, portable, and free. Train it up to look for material from both the left and right, national and international sources, and nothing comes close to so efficiently opening your eyes.

    As a story breaks and unfolds you can simultaneously see how it is covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, National Review, and dozens of knowledgeable bloggers, providing a 360-degree perspective that easily reveals facts that spoil an editor's spin. Thanks to embedded URLs, readers can dig directly into most of the source material, be it a scientific or government report, the full text of a political speech, testimony before Congress, or a cellphone video shot on the scene by a citizen reporter.

    After reading you can dive into the story yourself, weighing in with references to overlooked or related material that adds context. Piping out your own views through Twitter allows you to delve into a smoldering cauldron of fellow news junkies that can give legs to a story - uncowed by some politically correct editor ensconced in Washington or New York. And you can do all this while propped up in bed sipping your morning coffee before heading out to work.
    This raises the question: Who will do the primary reporting after news bureaus shut down and paid professional journalists have to resort to serving lattes at Starbucks? The answer is: you and me. Think about it. Would you prefer to get your news through the eyes of some college kid who has never run a business, never served in the military, never designed a product, never closed a sale, never run for office, never conducted a science experiment, never performed on stage, never risked his fortune, and never hit a curveball, or from an array of people who have been there, done that, and have a clue about how the world really works?
    The choice is yours.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information. Benjamin Disraeli
    Secrecy is for losers. For people who do not know how important the information really is.
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan - Secrecy: The American Experience (1998)

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