Sunday, May 23, 2010

What's the future of the news business in a world of multiple media inputs?

Roberto De Vido .....based in Japan..... speaks of the future of the news business:

When things go wrong at the New York Times with its sometimes shoddy or unvetted reporting or PR-press release-influenced reportage, though this sort of thing may be common throughout the industry, we hold the Times to a higher standard, in part because of the high standards it has established for itself over the decades, and in part because the Times itself swaggers through the media landscape hinting (and sometimes saying outright) it is unanswerable to anyone but itself. [And even then, the Public Editor doesn't seem to get much respect.]

With the news that the Times will erect a paywall in January, however, I got to wondering how much of the Times is essential (though I have no problem paying for news, and do). We now live in a world of multiple media inputs, and for most people "news" is no longer a package, printed on paper and delivered early in the morning, but discrete stories, collected from a wide range of sources, including in my case The Economist, the Guardian, the NY Times, the LA Times, Slate, and more. I subscribe to a superb (and free) e-newsletter called The Browser, which sources stories (I think) via reader recommendations (which are then curated, I think) and has broadened my list of media inputs enormously.

Except for print subscribers, how many people read the NY Times cover to cover anymore? And specifically, what media outlets are "the best" for business news, global politics, sports, domestic news and politics, arts, etc.? If you're a media owner, and you're not "best in class" (and you don't have a political slant, e.g. Fox News, that puts you in the always-more-lucrative-than-the-news entertainment business), in any one category, what's your future?
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 Roberto De Vido

Yokosuka, Japan
Japan-based corporate communications strategist • 20 years in Asia (resident in China/Japan, working regionally) • satirist • cartoonist • comics writer

Roberto De Vido is a communications consultant based in Japan. He has over 15 years of experience working with multinational clients in China and Japan. Prior to moving to Japan, he lived in Hong Kong, where he founded a public relations company and a custom publishing firm, and launched an independent advertising-supported magazine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have to talk about this one.

This is exactly what we in the Tribune are struggling with -- the multiple media inputs. We do have a website but it is more like a deposit of our articles than a lively interactive news site. We are trying to decide how are we going to transform ourselves into a modern media, but what is a modern media?

Though the internet has democratize news generation and distribution, it also has the danger of being abused and, since a single person can produce a news website, lower the quality and reliability. I've found many, if not most, of the medical websites or articles, even ones that are published by MD's, have wrong or improper information. (when I walk into an exam room and see that the patient has a stack of prints downloaded from the internet, I know I am in big trouble having to explain and debunk many of what in those prints).

China has a division or two in its arm forces, and then many, called "5 cent employees", cheap worker in other words, in its propaganda departments. Upon the order from above, they would flood the internet sites with opinions that support or praised the CCP and the government. Disasters like the earthquake and mine explosions typically cause criticism from the bloggers and the email forums. But usually in a few hours' time, the opinions are turned in favor of the government.

Yes, more inputs, but watch out for fakes.