Offer News Online – About three Words and phrases That Certainly not Get Jointly
Remember the scene in Blazing Saddles when the sheriff installed a toll booth in the middle of the prairie, and most of the bad guys lined through to horseback to pitch a penny in the turnstile as opposed to ride across the gate? Classic 1974 Mel Brooks; revisited with a perspective of 2009 irony. Following the U.C. Berkeley Media Technology Summit held at Google the other day, it seems that some strong voices have moved discussions away from paid content. ‘Sell News Online’ will never pass the smell test for 95% of news sites because shhhh…. online news is free.
The turnstile gate is up: readers can undergo it, around it, over it, and get their news however, whenever, wherever they desire. Customers are in control, advertisers newspaper headlines have voted to invest their dollars elsewhere and media companies perhaps, may be starting to go over opportunities that scale. Nevertheless the question remains, will investigative journalism survive the slow, painful transition of the media industry?
Not-for-profit business models like ProPublica are cropping as much as support investigative journalism.
John Temple’s compelling presentation on lessons learned from the Rocky Mountain News included comments that online news needs “more ways for local businesses to attain prospects locally.
Advertisers were not represented. I didn’t see Associations from Restaurants, Car Companies, Auto Dealers, Convention Centers and certainly small businesses were not providing input.
It is interesting that the bread and butter of the media industry, advertisers, remain not asked what they believe and how online news may play a role in the advertisers’ future. Perhaps given that paid content is on the back burner, (I can make the broad assumption that advertisers were not asked about paid content as a small business model either), perhaps journalists can do what journalists do: research, investigate and report. There are many niches, industries and geographies that will provide data and perspective, if analyzed. If media firms had reached out and called for feedback as early as 2006 when advertisers started to leave newspapers, they may be presenting a different history today.
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