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The Almighty Buck The Media The Internet

The Future of Journalism Online 53

Posted by Zonk
from the everyone's-got-their-own-newspaper dept.
twitter writes "The slide in newspaper subscriptions continues for obvious reasons: convenience, variety, depth, cost and user control are all in favor of pull media. The BBC is wondering what this will ultimately mean for journalism. One interesting issue is brought up: 'papers like France's Libération [have] traditionally shunned advertising it deemed politically compromising and relied on its cover price for its income.' Even they see that internet distribution is the answer, but the BBC worries about the details." From the article: "The International Herald Tribune now sees itself as a media organisation rather than just a paper; their website features video stories and has taken the step of charging for premium content. 'Good journalism costs money and so we are trying to see what we can do to make sure we can continue to grow and support the business,' said Meredith Artley, director of digital development at the International Herald Tribune. "
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The Future of Journalism Online

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  • The traditional mainstream media is essentially a monolithic workflow stack for reporting information that depends on scale for advertising revenue. The Internet doesn't change the basic structure of the operation - or its incentives. In contrast, the future of journalism online is like to be distributed, more like honey from a beehive. In this spirit, we released our platform to the open source community [newscloud.com] this past week. There is much work to do. We're like a tenth of a nanosecond past the big bang of onl
    • by Fred_A (10934)
      In contrast, the future of journalism online is like to be distributed, more like honey from a beehive.
      Uh, what ?
      Journalism online is going to be a sticky mess ? It's going to be attacked by bears ? You'll only be able to get at it if you smoke the journalists first ?

      What kind of analogy is that ?
  • inevitable... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MollyB (162595) on Sunday December 10, 2006 @05:48PM (#17187318) Journal
    Hasn't this has been on the horizon since NBC started broadcasting in color? This is the slowest death of a particular medium since radio was supposedly doomed.

    I think some people like to read something they can fold, is light and cheap. (Eco-/.er's: I'm thinking recycled paper) and best of all, doesn't need to be charged or plugged in.

    Nope, didn't read tfa.
    • You don't need to. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by khasim (1285)

      Nope, didn't read tfa.

      You don't need to. It's no different from the thousand other stories just like this.

      And the answer hasn't changed yet. The newspapers are losing their readers because the newspapers are abandoning their readers. Real journalism is dying at the newspapers. It's dying on the television news programs. The only show that still has some in depth and insightful research is The Daily Show. How pathetic is that?

      This isn't about getting on the web with video clips.

      This is about digging for the

      • by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot@castles ... minus physicist> on Sunday December 10, 2006 @06:21PM (#17187532) Homepage Journal
        The newspapers are losing their readers because the newspapers are abandoning their readers. Real journalism is dying at the newspapers.

        Not here in Albany NY. The Times Union has done as much investigative journalism as anyone could hope for -- they even went to court to get information.

        Nationally, the NY Times and other papers of similar weight remain bastions of actual reporting.
        • Nationally, the NY Times and other papers of similar weight remain bastions of actual reporting.

          That's possible. But they also have people like Judith Miller working for them.

          Sorry, I'll take The Daily Show over her "reporting" any day.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by theLOUDroom (556455)
          Nationally, the NY Times and other papers of similar weight remain bastions of actual reporting.

          As Huey Freeman would put it:
          Read Dummy! [wikipedia.org]

          The NYT might look great compared to Fox News, but they have been far from exemplary.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Honestly, post-consumer recycled paper isn't significantly more eco-friendly than "virgin" paper. Point by point, all the supposed advantages simply don't stack up.

      Destruction of forests: the pulp used in newspaper stock isn't tearing down old growth hardwood rainforests. It comes from tree farms with quick growing conifers. Tree farms are a much better source for the application, as the straight rows of similar sized trees allow for a significant increase in the efficiency of automated harvesting and
  • by Amigan (25469) on Sunday December 10, 2006 @05:50PM (#17187328) Homepage
    Blogosphere is known and acknowledged to present specific points of view. Newspapers have lost a lot of trust with readership because they have chosen to present the news that they want - rather than just reporting the facts. The blogosphere has rattled their cage considerably with all its opinions, and newspapers feel that they have to responds in kind.

    When sources used are questionable (unnamed or fictitious), corrections don't occur on bad facts, people start to question the value of newspapers. The on-line versions are going to have to compete in the 24x7 world, and actually improve their standards of reporting if they want to compete with the blogosphere.

    jerry
    • by s20451 (410424) on Sunday December 10, 2006 @05:57PM (#17187374) Journal
      Newspapers have lost a lot of trust with readership because they have chosen to present the news that they want - rather than just reporting the facts.

      This made me laugh. Have you ever read a political blog? They spend half their time shouting that the mainstream media is biased and ineffective, and the other half quoting MSM articles that happen to flatter their preconceptions.

      The death of the mainstream media is hugely exaggerated. There is very little "news" that percolates from the blogosphere, compared to traditional, full-time, employed journalists.

      • Have you ever read a political blog? They spend half their time shouting that the mainstream media is biased and ineffective, and the other half quoting MSM articles that happen to flatter their preconceptions. ...There is very little "news" that percolates from the blogosphere, compared to traditional, full-time, employed journalists.

        Well, that's what the journalist's job is ... but they get tipped by your neighbor and critiqued by the blogs. Not even Clark Kent could see everything. It takes a whistl

        • by xe0nes (1038680)
          If there's an advertiser conflict of interest, even that might not happen.

          Not always true, but at some papers, yes... I work for DenverPost.com, and I can remember even recently seeing an ad showing up in an article on the site that was critical of that advertiser. Of course, it was an accident, but there was no scramble to change it, either. I don't agree 100% with the Post's politics (less than 50%, really), but I respect the integrity of many of the journalists there, especially in the online side. Alt
    • by jlarocco (851450) on Sunday December 10, 2006 @06:17PM (#17187520) Homepage
      The on-line versions are going to have to compete in the 24x7 world, and actually improve their standards of reporting if they want to compete with the blogosphere.

      Maybe I'm only one, but I simply don't trust blogs as news sources. Even at their best, their "news" is rehashed from a real news source.

      • by GodInHell (258915) *

        Maybe I'm only one, but I simply don't trust blogs as news sources. Even at their best, their "news" is rehashed from a real news source.

        Not the only one at all. Can't trust any of those sites that just post news from other sources.. I mean.. who would want that!?

        Blogs are way overrated though. Even at their best editorials in newsprint are just opion pieces, interesting only when they offer a really new idea or are authored by an actual news-maker, blogs are basically just editorials written by nobodies. Bleh.

        -GiH

        • Can't trust any of those sites that just post news from other sources.. I mean.. who would want that!?

          how is this different than different papers printing the exact stories--word for word--from the AP or UPI?
      • It all depends what you call a real news source. They're all at it! The BBC reads off AP and Reuters all day long. Some 'news' items start as press releases. Governments feed media agencies stories. It's a really complex web which often just comes down to 'trusting' or 'belief'. This is what the internet has shown me anyway.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The AP gets caught falsify sources and admits they have "talking points".
      Reuters gets caught photoshopping (cut-n-paste, clone tool, etc.) photos.
      It has been shown that most of the reporting about Katrina was false.

      Really why trust them?

      from: http://shrinkwrapped.blogs.com/blog/2005/11/revisi ting_less.html [blogs.com]
      posted Nov 15, 2005

      Lessons from Vietnam: The Credibility Gap

      The MSM* was permanently changed by the Vietnam war and its aftermath, including the Watergate scandal and the Nixon impeachment. [As commenter
    • by tehcyder (746570)
      You used the word blogosphere three times in that post, so unfortunately I completely missed your point while I was vomiting.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    undermining perfectly legitimate global media corporations and denying shareholders their money. sent in the swat teams!

    there will always be a market for the cheap shoddy sensationalist celeb obsessed claptrap you get in tabloids because 90% of the population are morons.

    everybody else can think for themselves and can make do with reading news agregation sites (like /.) with a pinch of salt.

    Screw the broadsheets anyway, they've been nosediving downhill like all media outlets. I bought 'the independent' for t
  • ...is right here at /.
  • Digital Paper (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GodInHell (258915) * on Sunday December 10, 2006 @06:01PM (#17187398) Homepage
    Personally, I've been waiting for a more convinient way of recieving my newspaper for awhile now. Slices of cut up tree are a waste of space (and trees) but as a medium for spreading information, it's worked for centuries. The promise of digital paper is that I won't have to trust that my newspaper boy will deliver my paper before I leave for school/work (it has yet to happen for me) or pay a marked-up price at the coffee shop on my way in. I'd rather just sigh in frustration and dig through the political leanings of site like drugde than pay for access to the NYT's editorials and deeper content.

    But I would be thrilled if I could simply plug my newspaper into my computer every morning, grab the newest issue, and read it on the train, at lunch, when I'm waiting for meetings to start, in class when I'm doing that instead of working, generally when I have a moment. That's the promise of digital paper, and I really hope the news paper guys pick up on it as fast as they can.

    I believe (as in a hope or aspiration which I have not verified with evidence or research) that there is still a market for the thoughtful and thorough reporting one recieves from a newspaper which cannot be found on the evening news shows. There is a cultural advantadge in sharing root sources of information which we can all reference, rather than squabling over which version of the news is more Republican or Democrat leaning - this is the traditional role of the newspaper. "Did you see the front page today?" "I know, person Y did X." Check CNN, FOX, and ABC news, they almost never focus on the same stories.. and even when they do, the treatment is often so different that you wouldn't recognize one from the other. For example, as I write this, Fox is pushing the death of James Kim, CNN is running a Pinnochet story, and ABC.. well they're confusedly running a rolling banner which includes everything from Pinnochet to Anna Nicole's baby, with no mention of mr Kim. So, where is the common social icon, the idea we take away together of what happened today that mattered? That's important.. that's what a strong and vibrant local newspaper gives to a community, around which a sense of unity can gather. This kind of seperate news for seperate audiences approaches we have now leads to division and a lack of focus in the social conciousness.

    At least that's this hack's opinnion.

    -GiH

    • My local paper [rochesterdandc.com] has a pretty decent internet presence. Somewhere between 4-5am, the site is updated with most of that day's content and then breaking stories are noted through the day (which generally turns into tomorrow's articles).

      The problem is that my paper really doesn't do a lot of investigative reporting and 75% of the content is articles straight off the news wires. Most of the stories they actually write (pretty much everything but the sports page) are written through a prism of narrow bias (usua
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 10, 2006 @06:01PM (#17187402)
    I'd definitely subscribe to a newspaper...if it were possible for me to subscribe to one. I live approximately halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. in a 300-unit apartment complex. I've tried to subscribe to both the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun, but neither offers delivery in my area. In one of the most connected areas of the country, I find it hard to believe that I can't pay someone to toss a newspaper tossed on my front stoop, but that's the truth.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Sunday December 10, 2006 @06:16PM (#17187498)

    They're all online media companies now. And this is where they fail: not asking their own journalists, rather than the sales department, about what they should do in the midst of declining sales, stodgy offerings, and peek-a-boo online subcriptions. The guys out in the trenches get it, it's the exec on the golf course that are having trouble making shots while eyes become increasingly glued to monitors, mobile PDAs, and other life in the post-paper era.

    The IHT is that silly paper at the conceirge desk at the hotel in Singapore, the airline lounge, and other places abroad. If you look at their advertisers, you can tell their audience. Apparently, execs now get their news-- real news-- from places like RSS and Atom feeds. Fancy that.

    • As an American having lived more than half my life abroad, I can tell you that the IHT is anything but "silly." It's published by the NYT corporation, and I personally prefer it to the NYT and every other major US paper I've read.

      If you want good English news abroad, the IHT is almost always the way to go.
      • And I've looked at the IHT at my hotel room desk, and had RSS feeds that had already scrolled past every single major piece in the IHT. It was neither newsworthy, nor bereft of US propaganda. It seemed constantly sanitized, trying to put on some weird patina of neutrality.

        You're obviously a fan and not eager to look at it critically. It's moldy by the time it reaches a hotel in say, Singapore, and worse, smells of Lysol.

        I otherwise respect the NYT, and the WSJ, despite them both having very different egos t
        • And I've looked at the IHT at my hotel room desk, and had RSS feeds that had already scrolled past every single major piece in the IHT. It was neither newsworthy, nor bereft of US propaganda. It seemed constantly sanitized, trying to put on some weird patina of neutrality.

          You're obviously a fan and not eager to look at it critically. It's moldy by the time it reaches a hotel in say, Singapore, and worse, smells of Lysol.


          I'm not sure what you mean by "sanitized," but I guess I like it. Maybe the Atlantic edi
  • by Anonymous Coward
    what costs is cronyism, nepotism and patronism

    corporations don't care
  • No. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jb.hl.com (782137) <joeNO@SPAMjoe-baldwin.net> on Sunday December 10, 2006 @06:32PM (#17187596) Homepage Journal
    I could, easily, read my chosen paper [guardian.co.uk] online, but I choose not to. The typography is better and easier on my eyes. The viewing area is bigger, and can fit more information in it without having to scroll down (reading from paper feels far more natural than reading from a screen). It's more convenient (I can read a paper on my couch, in the canteen at work, in bed, on the can, just about anywhere really...). Papers aren't going to die any time soon.
  • Who cares? Print journalism is bunk because of television. There's no award for "best investigative sentence" - which is what modern newspapers have been reduced to, with a very, very few exceptions (IHT and The Economist).

    Modern print journalism, like television, is a source of disinformation.

    Disinformation is information which leads you to *think* you are informed but actually leads you away from being *truly informed*.

    News is defined as *functional information*. Almost everything in a newspaper is NOT
  • The progressive killing off of traditional print publishing by e-publishing is true and here to stay in all fields. Hre is a review of how strong this trend is in medical e-publishing where free open source e-text is replacing traditional medical journals. The same is happening for fiction. read more here at : http://docinthemachine.com/2006/12/05/is-paper-med ical-publishing-dead/ [docinthemachine.com]
  • More people use a notebook for reading news in anyplace or they cellphone and not those wear concepts of e-papers...

    That makes media focus in the internet market, just as Google does focusing in the mobile market[Spanish] [ghostbar.ath.cx]

  • The mainstream media has an agenda. Go to those MSM websites where they allow "discussion" comments (notice how few actually do) at the end of their articles. You will notice that comments must be approved by an editor before they get posted. They don't trust the people to moderate their own discussions. WHY IS THAT? Now people have a genuine alternative to funding the vanguards of political correctness... at least until it becomes illegal to post any wrongthink on the net. Then the MSM will have a r
    • by Oniko (865215)
      Much as I'd greatly prefer an ideal society where everyone is free to express their opinion without the need for approval... I think most of them are just trying to avoid being sued over comments about the GNAA, surprise buttsecks, the Jewish Banker world conspiracy, and/or links to tubgirl.

      Most places I've seen seem to automatically approve any opinion out to the reaches of wingnuttery on either side, so I don't agree that that's their motivation. The Intarweb can be a nasty, nasty place. I ran across a yo

  • My newspaper subscription is ending, and I've decided not to resubscribe, in large part because of the subscription cost. My paper costs $180 for the year. I decided that if I want print versions of news, I can subscribe to Time or Newsweek for a fraction of the cost. No, it's not daily, but I think it's often more insightful.
  • I am coming to the conclusion that digital content /really/ /is/ going to be valued as "free" in the very near future.

    We see with things like YouTube that there are millions and millions of people willing to create and produce video content for free. Most of it might not be as polished as "professional" journalism, but evidently the masses don't care.

    I read today on NPR about a company that is doing something similar with T-shirts (threadless.com) (have not checked the URL). People submit t-shirt ideas, w

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