Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today is a big day for discussing media.

In Washington, a Federal Trade Commission two-day workshop is bringing out a host of big names in the field, including Rupert Murdoch, Steven Brill, Paul Steiger, Leonard Downie and others. There is sure to be big news from this area.

In Hyderabad, India (where I had a 12-hour airport layover a year ago; not fun), the World Newspaper Congress is underway with lots of interesting tidbits. Not surprisingly, the lead is one of Murdoch's minions, Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton whose talk could be summed up with this quote: " How can it be that the Internet offered so much promise and so little profit?" Don't look for much new media love from Hyderabad. The link is to paidcontent.org so you can imagine that group's take on the situation. (Hint: "Free costs too much."). Lots of stories out there. Search using "World Newspaper Congress."

And I fully appreciate the irony that I'm using new media, including both links, to report on old media. We certainly live in a crazy media world these days.

Newspapers oppose online "opt-in" advertising strategy

Depending on what point of view you have, newspapers are weighing in on one of the hot topics of the day -- behavioral targeted advertising -- on the side of the devil or that of the angels.
The Newspaper Association of America is urging the federal government not to follow an "opt-in" strategy for such advertising. "Opt-in" means that consumers can't be targeted unless they specifically allow it. It's the opposite of the "opt-out" strategy used in telephone marketing (another area where the newspaper industry has sided against most consumers).

Monday, November 30, 2009

New media looks like the old

New media looks awful, well, white, says Byron Monroe, former Ebony magazine editor and former editor of the National Association of Black Journalists. He's got a point. For new media to actually be an improvement over the old, it must represent a diverse America.

Ready for the robots?

AOL is. CEO Tim Armstrong announced that AOL robots will trawl the web, suggest stories, calculate payment (and ad rates) for free lancers, edit the stories and check for copyright infringement.

Can this be the future of the Internet? Or just the failure of yet another plan put together by human MBA drones?

Magazines readying for growth of eReaders

AdWeek says that magazine publishers are readying digital platforms for the growth of eReaders, which are expected to multiply within months.

The sky already fell, but . . .

Interesting musings on media from David Carr at the New York Times. For some time I've repeated the line that historians tell us what life was like before Gutenberg and movable type, and what life was like afterward. But nothing tells us what life was like when it revolutionised the media landscape -- and the world.

Carr does a nice job of looking at the chaos as the sky fell in great chunks (his phrase), but then waxes optimistic about a future without the heady days of media past:

"So what do we get instead? The future, which is not a bad deal if you ignore all the collateral gore. Young men and women are still coming here to remake the world, they just won’t be stopping by the human resources department of Condé Nast to begin their ascent.

"For every kid that I bump into who is wandering the media industry looking for an entrance that closed some time ago, I come across another who is a bundle of ideas, energy and technological mastery. The next wave is not just knocking on doors, but seeking to knock them down."

The sky fell. But there's a new dawn with a new sky and lots of people are looking at what might be instead of what was. That's a pretty good way of looking at things.

Ad spending optimism rebounds

For some time, observers have wondered whether the decline in advertising was a consequence of poor media performance or poor economic performance. MediaPost reports today that it seems to be the latter, since ad executives report the highest level of optimism since before the recession hit.
Now someone needs to tell the media companies so they'll quit committing suicide by attrition and start giving us consumers a reason to buy their product.