Posts from April 11, 2005

Paneled

Paneled

: Jay Rosen writes a great post suggesting that he, Wonkette, and I be fired from panels. He has some great nominees as replacements.

I’ll take it one step further: Stop the blogging panels. There’s nothing more to say that hasn’t been said (believe me). And the problem with these performances is that, to paraphrase Jon Stewart, they make us into monkeys.

Jay’s quite right that what matters more is talking about ways this will (or won’t) work as a business.

Actually the same can be said of the news business these days. In fact, it could be argued, that’s a more urgent discussion since the big guys have lots to lose and the little guys have everything to gain.

There are real questions to answer but I’m not hearing folks ask them.

I sat at the last Harvard confab — where we actually did, at last, get down to talking about new business models for news — and thought this should be the topic for the forseeable future: Let’s stop blathering and start building.

This weekend, I spoke with a guy who was helping someone with a presentation about the future of the news biz and we agreed it should include a clarion call to ask the tough questions.

And then, when it’s time to look for answers, start with Jay’s list of the people worth listening to.

: LATER: Rory O’Connor says in the LA Times:

Rather than fruitlessly debating whether bloggers are journalists, we should ponder how our newly transformed news environment can best function. Newspapers have a huge stake in this debate. Young people no longer get their news exclusively from the morning papers, evening network newscasts or other traditional outlets. Increasingly, they go online to find news รณ and read bloggers that professional journalists deem so dangerous.

Whereabouts

Whereabouts

: I’m at a meeting in D.C. going over more than 200 proposals for the New Voices grants. Blogging later.

The network no one owns

The network no one owns

: Broacasting & Cable’s blog reports that the number of online streamers who watched pope coverage on MSNBC far outnumbered those who watched on big, old TV:

Earlier this week, MSNBC said there had been 850,000 accesses of Pope-related streamed video on its Web site, msnbc.com. By Friday, it said, that number had jumped to almost four million (3,989,000)….

Now, some of those hits are certainly repeat customers, but it is still an impressive number, particularly given that in March, MSNBC averaged 336,000 viewers per day to its cable channel.

Imagine how much bigger it would be if the audience didn’t have to stream and could watch anytime, anywhere… if MSNBC provided downloads the audience could distribute.

I’ll take any excuse to repeat my favorite stats: Jon Stewart’s Crossfiricide got a few hundred thousand views on big, old CNN but 7 million on iFilm and untold millions on Bittorrent.

: Now look at how Ian Schwartz, Trey Jackson, and others are making a name for themselves recording segments off TV and putting them up online.

Uh, hello, networks, you should be doing this (too). You should be putting up all your stories with permalinks so they can join the conversation.

If you did, you’d grow your audiences, improve your branding, add to ad revenue (if you attached ads to the videos), and build a new relationship with the audience. Simple.

Media reform?

Media reform?

: Next month, there’s a National Conference for Media Reform with all sorts of odd bedfellows: FCC censor-freaks Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, Al Franken, Seattle Times owner Frank Blethen, David Brock of Media Matters, folks from Fair and the Newspaper Guild and Consumers Union, and so on.

This is the left-wing media-haters club, not to be confused with the right-wing media-haters club. The right-wing club hates the media because they think it’s left-wing; the left-wing hates media because they think it’s corporate (and thus right-wing).

Here’s the dangerous part about this one: They want to “increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates, and to generate policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector.”

The keyword there: “policies.” Policies come from government. Government media policies equal government media control. I hate that.

First Amendment, you know: “Congress shall make now law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

Government media policies are all about government regulating media. It’s dangerous when government tries to regulate what we say or who can own what.

Don’t forget that media is now us: If you want government to regulate that media you open the door for government to regulate this media.

Why does who hate whom?

Why does who hate whom?

: The American Society of Newspaper Editors is meeting in D.C. this week. A few panel topics:

: “The bias question: the news of affirmation vs. verification” with Eric Alterman, Gerald Boyd, Kathryn Lopez of NRO, and Tom Rosenstiel. I don’t understand even the title.

: “Vigilant Editor: Identifying and surviving ethical controversies in your newsroom.” Fill in punchline here.

: And my favorite: “Why do they hate us? Perspectives on the evolution of hostile attitudes toward the United States” with David Ignatius of The Washington Post, Hafez Al-Mirazi of Al-Jazeera TV (who appears on more panels than I do), author Irshad Manji, and others. Or should that be: Why We Hate Us?