Link to a thought-provoking article from Dan Gillmor from Salon.com on what journalism actually is in our social media society.
Who knows, maybe someone you know is a journalist?
It seems the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette has started charging online readers for access to local news.
According to the story, readers will get 10 free articles per month, but then have to pay for additional stories.
I’ve been following the online news industry for a while now, and I’m skeptical about whether or not anyone can truly make the online newsroom model work.
And there’s even talk about online news being driven by search engine optimization, meaning that the news you get is the “news” that everyone is surfing to find. So plenty of stuff about Brad & Angelina, the Bachelorette, Lindsay Lohan, etc.
My friend, Eileen Hawley, told me recently about a chance meeting she once had with the late Walter Cronkite, who remarked, “we used to give folks the news they needed to know; now we give them what they want.”
This trend is the sort of thing that keeps me awake at night.
What I find particularly interesting are the comments at the bottom of the most recent Times story.
Many of the commentators state that they would be willing to pay for solid journalism.
And people ARE doing that right now. Only they’re buying magazines and not newspapers.
According to the Magazine Publishers of America (okay, they’re biased), the growth in magazine readership in the period from 2005 to 2009 outpaced all other media except the internet. (For the record, magazine subscriptions peaked in 2007.)
Many of my friends at magazines report that circulation, ad pages and revenues are climbing, due in large part to the “anti-internet” feel that comes from reading long copy at a leisurely pace.
I predict that technologies such as the iPad will likely help, and not hurt, magazine sales, as it will reduce printing and shipping costs for publishers, while enabling them to provide multimedia content to subscribers and multimedia messaging for advertisers.
If newspapers were to provide in-depth content, greater local news and more geo-specific features, they might have a chance.
But if I were a betting man, I’d be looking for a new way to wrap fish in the future.