The real change in the news business
: AdAge reports on a McKinsey study on falling newspaper classified revenue:
[The study] warned that newspapers could lose $4 billion of “highly profitable” classified revenue by 2007 — or around 20% of newspapers’ 2004 classifieds revenue and just under 9% of the $46.6 billion in total newspaper ad revenue last year — if trends that afflict help-wanted classifieds spread to automotive and real-estate classifieds.
This is why it is necessary to find new models to support reporting (see Gillmor; and I’ve heard some other revolutionary ideas lately) and new ways to save money (for example) and new ways to get more news (repeat after me: citizen journalists).
: Google now offers search history and is selling its search box for small enterprises.
: The other day, I grabbed a wonderful quote from Bill Clinton at the Oklahoma City memorial. Here is the fuller quote:
It seems almost impossible that it’s been a decade, doesn’t it? The memories are still so clear. Yet, by the grace of God, time takes its toll not only on youth and beauty, but also on tragedy. The tomorrows come almost against our will. And they bring healing and hope, new responsibilities and new possibilities.
Highly recommended: The World is Flat
: I’m only a third of the way through Tom Friedman‘s new book, The World is Flat, but I have no hesitation in recommending it highly, even urgently. In fact, I bought it twice: on old, dead paper and on my iPod so I could use my commute to gobble it up faster.
What’s surprising about the book is how tech-savvy it is. Friedman shows the respect and curiosity of a true journalist in understanding the world-flattening significance of open-source software, of technology that enables outsourcing, of citizens’ media. And on that topic, yes, he reads and quotes blogs and bloggers. He says he has not read the paper version of The Times, his paper, in two years. He says news should be free and so he won’t pay for The Wall Street Journal Online. But he’s also honest enough to admit that he’s not crazy about Amazon selling used copies of his books.
Well, Tom, here’s a suggestion: Take giant swaths of your book and put them up online — using Dan Gillmor and Cory Doctorow as your models — and I guarantee that you will find your theses and writing and name spread farther faster than the best damned publishing PR campaign in the world. And you’ll sell more books (and audio downloads).
That is especially true of this book, for it speaks to the very online audience that is finding new ways to flatten this world of ours.
But don’t wait for Friedman and his publisher to wake up and put the book online. Don’t wait to buy a used copy off of Amazon. Go buy the book now. You’ll thank me for the advice. (And I’ll tell you if I change my mind after the next two-thirds.)
: The frequently clueless Editor & Publisher, voice of the newspaper industry (:cough:), is without clue again today with a piece that advises:
Blogs are a horrible way to deliver journalism. Forget them.
Near as I can tell, this is written by a young person named Graham Webster who says he blogs but gives neither his age (which is relevant) nor his URL (ditto). Transparency, people, transparency. Still, you don’t have to old to roar like a dinosaur. He misses the point: Blogs aren’t about big publishers blogging; they are about the public publishing. Webster admits that he reads blogs to get story ideas. Ding! Ding! Ding! You read them to get… NEWS!