Don’t they need new blood?

The American Press Institute puts $2 million into a project to find new business models for newspapers but I think they make a few mistakes: First, it’s not about new models for newspapers; it’s about new models for news. Second, the august group they gather for the task, though smart and experienced, are all from the big companies and the old ways. The newspaper industry’s worst fault is that it is insular and rejects new blood. This would have been a chance to find new people (and no, I don’t mean me) who are doing new things in new ways. That, ladies and gentlemen, is where the new models are going to come from, not from the old ways.

: Rafat Ali’s take here. And Rafat’s just the kind of person who should be in this thing.

: LATER: Nancy Wang says:

… the project goals also entail an “assessment of the threat to newspapers, including emerging competition”. Call it semantics, but this line of thinking continues to be insular. Instead of thinking about threats to newspapers, they should be thinking about learning (maybe even partnering) with the emerging competition that seems to be taking away their audiences.

Right. It’s not about the threats to newspapers.

It’s about the opportunties for journalism.

  • http://r2000.blogspot.com Victor Dorph

    Hmm… My idea would be save the trees and stop making paper documents.

    R2K..Bathrooms..Rocketry

  • http://www.topix.net Chris Tolles

    Jeff:

    >> are all from the big companies and the old ways.

    I take it you didn’t read *all* the names here.

    Bob Wyman and Rich Skrenta are neither from big companies nor “the old ways” last time I checked.

    Certainly, there’s a lot of representation here from main stream media — but I’d argue PubSub and Topix.net are a good start towards inclusion of new models and thought here.

    We might not be your NYC-dwelling-Michael’s-dining-uber-blogger sort of online riffraff, but throw us a bone here ;-)

    Chris Tolles
    VP Marketing
    Topix.net

  • Jorge

    They need new young blood. Young blood soon turns to middle age blood and middle age blood turns to old blood.

  • http://divedi.blogspot.com/ Dimitar Vesselinov

    The future is here…In Korea and Japan…On blogs, Livejournal, Myspace, FaceBook, mobile phones, cyber worlds…The media establishment executives just have to see it! Just follow Murdoch!

  • http://www.laurencehaughton.com laurence haughton

    Again there’s that pesky qualifier, “business” models. It’s not even about new models for news. It’s about new “news business” models.

    You can understand their reluctance about allowing many new voices can’t you?

    New voices might ask impertinent questions like, “who are the customers and how do we really know what they want?” Better to bring in the usual experts who claim to speak for readers and advertisers. That way nobody has to waste time listening to the hoi polloi (the long tail of readers and advertisers) before they start their redesign.

  • http://romanlibbertz.blogspot.com roman libbertz

    cool, sehr geil

  • newc

    The “Press” Shall be free.
    ;)

  • newc

    But WELL researched and Documented – or Fact check your a** off.
    Men from boys, and boys to men.

    Nothing is wrong with truth, but handling is a different “shippers” fault i guess.

  • EverKarl

    The analogy I always return to is the failure of railroad companies to realize that they could have been in the transportation business, rather than the railroad business. Not knowing what business you’re in is a good way to go out of business.

  • http://NA JR

    You’re a liberal jackass who has no clue what he’s talking about 99% of the time.

  • PSGInfinity

    JR,

    Throw us a bone, oh wizened one.
    First off, who are you insulting?
    Second, how about some evidence?
    Third, how about remembering that casual readers don’t want to follow minutiae?

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  • Jorge

    JR

    Better to be a liberal and a jackass than to be just a dumbass.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~carlsdesk Carl

    You can understand their reluctance about allowing many new voices can’t you?

    New voices might ask impertinent questions like, “who are the customers and how do we really know what they want?” Better to bring in the usual experts who claim to speak for readers and advertisers. That way nobody has to waste time listening to the hoi polloi (the long tail of readers and advertisers) before they start their redesign.

    Too many voices can get overwhelming. Of course, if they don’t listen to those new voices, they run the risk of missing the changes and being out of business.

    Mainstream media really needs to focus on their strengths. By having a paid staff, who can spend TIME researching, they have the ability to be the sources of authoritative information. MSM has the opportunity to be the people who delve further into issues and root out facts (theoretically, that’s what they’ve been doing). Bloggers tend to be folks with a specific expertise, and also other jobs that keep them from reading far and obscure sources of info. MSM should be, if they choose to step up (and some will, I’m sure) and provide true depth. Ironically, bloggers should be viewed, in this model, as key partners. Those much derided blogs provide the direction to find depth, insights that “common sense” might not bring to light.

    MSM has a place in the new information economy; they just need to quit whining about it and start working.

  • http://deadnewspapers.blogspot.com/ Gutenberg

    The problem with newspapers is that they are run by newspapermen and women. I think the problem stems in part from the insular culture of newsrooms that eschews anything that smacks of business sense. To wit: http://deadnewspapers.blogspot.com/2005/11/marketing-in-newsroom-part-ii.html

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