Posts from July 17, 2004

Technology and news and transparency

Technology and news and transparency

: In the interest of transparency, here’s a link to the presentation I’ll give this morning at Aspen (it’s PowerPoint saved for the web, so you should be able to read the notes with the screens). If you have any comments, comment.

(By the way, I am trying to figure out how to put up the Daimler Chryster/Organic/BBDO citizens’s media presentation but it’s just such a huge file, I’m trying to figure out how to slice it up.)

Great runs

Great runs

: Well, I’m far from a great runner but the morning run here in Aspen was great: Down a steep hill from Aspen Meadows (wow, unlike the Meadlowlands, they really have meadows here)… to a river of rapids… along the loud water… up a paved path studded with wildflowers and with locking garbage cans to keep the bears out (warning, said the sign in the room, bears have been seen on the grounds) and complementary doggie poop bags… into downtown… up gallery way… down boutique boulevard… past the second (and third) homes of the very rich… and back. It is beautiful here.

The transfer of authority

The transfer of authority

: In the presentation I made this week and the one I’ll make this morning, I said that citizens’ media questions the authority of big media and establishes the authority of the audience.

Tonight, I read Fred Wilson — who left Aspen as I arrived — reporting on a session at Fortune’s confab here about the future of advertising:

The most interesting part of the panel though was the heated debate that developed between the big agency guys and the Internet entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs were arguing that we are experiencing a major transition in the world away from big brands and big media. They argued that individuals no longer trust the establishment and that credibility, authority, and connections among individuals is what matters most. It was fun to watch the fireworks.

That’s what all the wrestling over media really gets down to: Who has the authority? Who gets the conch? Who has it with news? Politics? Consumerism? Finance? Government? The people or the powerful? The ultimate disintermediation the Internet brings is the disintermediation of authority.

Aspen

Aspen

: Through no good work of my own and sheer dumb luck, I find myself in an august group of leaders in journalism at Aspen, including Kevin Klose, head of NPR; Steven Erlanger of the NYT; Lawrence Grossman, former president of NBC; Walter Isaacson, former editor of Time and CNN; Rob Prichard, president of Torstar; Norman Pearlstine, editor-in-chief of Time Inc.; Andrew Tyndall of the Tyndall Report on TV news; Frank Blethen, publisher of the Seattle Times; Merrill Brown, founding editor of MSNBC.com; Chris Dixon of Gabelli; Esther Dyson; and more I’ll meet.

Damn, I hope I don’t embarrass myself.

I probably won’t blog too much from the session until it’s over and then I won’t bore you with the details. Tonight was just the get-to-know-you dinner and it yielded good conversation at my table about the future of media. Before we started arguing micropayments and such, the get-to-know-you question was whom do you trust in media today (other than your employer)? There were many votes for NPR, the NYT, the improving LAT, with nods to the Internet and — surprise, surprise — not a single vote for FoxNews; interpret that as you will, and I know you will. My answer was, for me, predictable: I said I have learned to trust the voice and judgment of my fellow citizens.

Saturday morning, I’ll give a brief spiel on technology and the newsroom and I plan to concentrate on citizens’ media; the new speed of receiving and delivering news; the ubiquity of the distribution of news (read: rss, mobile, broadband); the new architecture of information (namely, we now search and link; we used to wait for the news to come to us and now the news waits for us to come to it); and, most important, the new culture of transparency that demand transparency from media. I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you have words of wisdom for this group — be nice! — then leave a comment.