Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Media roils Columbia J-School

How to deal with the new media affects lots of us (we are Marquette have determined that all journalism students will be exposed to the digital storytelling tools while maintaining our journalistic integrity in teaching writing and editing skills). Columbia University apparently has a major split, at least that's this report.

NY Times speculates on no-newspaper cities

Everyone knows, we journalists love writing about ourselves (at least that's the perception from non-journalists, one with more than a little truth in it). Today's New York Times offers a roundup story on the state of newspapers today with the speculation that soon there will be at least one major city without a printed newspaper. It concedes there will probably be online sites, but even those running such sites admit their reporting is not at the level of the newspapers. The story also says that without the huge debt loads many newspapers carry, they'd still be profitable.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Time CEO talks about charging for online content

Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore tells a British journalist that her company is exploring ways to charge for content at her company's most successful websites. Here's a telling quote: "Who started this rumour that all information should be free and why didn't we challenge this when it first came out? I say this in college classrooms and they start to throw their shoes at me. I say, 'Kids, your food is not free and your cars are not free, your clothes are not free. Good information costs money.'"

I'd bet that within a year, most sites will be doing the same.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Conventional wisdom says that MediaGeneral's attempt to create a personalized newspaper will fail. Probably. But so what? It might catch on. There were those who said blogging would fail, and the same for Internet delivery of news.

Actually, the plan calls for electronic sorting of the news, then transmission either to a home computer or to a device the company is working on to print it out at home.

I know I'm an old guy, but I won't give up on print just yet. There is something tactually satisfying in holding a printed object (and I really appreciate not looking at computer screens for at least part of the day). So I wouldn't rule anything out.

Court ruling threatens "truth as a defense," law blog says

It wasn't the media, but when Staples told employees that the reason one was fired was for padding his expense account, it may have libeled him, an appeals court ruled in Boston. The Media Law blog said it was "the most dangerous libel decision in decades. The decision puts a crack in the bedrock that threatens to undermine free speech." Frankly, I don't see many supporters of the media among the ruling five votes on the Supreme Court, so I wouldn't hope for any relief there. I've actually been waiting for this as new media pushes the boundaries, the blowback on all media may get rough.

Blog offers 10 papers that will fail -- including the Sun-Times

Now, from the 247 Wall Street blog, comes a predication of the ten major papers that will soon fold. Nope, none are in Milwaukee, but the Chicago Sun-Times and the Minneapolis Star-Tribunemakes the list. Don't know how credible this site is, but it's an interesting list, and there seems to be some thought in its prediction.

Ad business to be off for record 3 years in a row, report says

For the first time ever, advertising in the U.S. will slide for three years in a row, according to a new report. The Jack Myers Media Business Report says media revenue generated through advertising declined 4.2% last year and will decline another 12% this year, then as much as 7% in 2010

Monday, March 9, 2009

Wave of Internet local startups

If newspapers are going the way of dinosaurs and buggy whips, what's next? Advertising Age sees the future in a wave of local Internet startups. I agree that is "a" future, I'm not sure it's "the" future. Still not sure I'd give up on print just yet.

More logic about newspapers (so it'll be ignored)

In a New York Times column, David Carr offers some good advice for newspapers that won't be followed. Summed up, it's this: (1) no more free content, (2) no free ride to aggragators, (3) no more commoditized ads, and (4) throw out the Newspaper Preservation Act (which he sees killing newspapers).

Nothing is "Off the record" anymore

Emerging media raise some fears about the demise of private space to this MediaPost blogger. She fears expectations that she will have to be available 24/7, and "I fear my own lack of self-restraint. Guaranteed, if I have access to the internet, I’m on it. It’s a compulsion and routine. If emails are constantly bombarding my phone (this is hypothetical of course) how do I decipher between personal and work related emails? If I can’t I’ll end up checking them all. There will be no escape!"

The question for those in mass communication -- which is what we journalists do