Save journalism, not newspapers

The former editor of Vanity Affair and The New Yorker magazines conveys magnificently how we should appreciate the “what” of news journalism’s value chain (content is king) separately from the “how” of reporting, editing and delivery. Thank you to BoSacks for sharing this article.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/5428800/Tina-Brown-the-magazine-queen-now-sold-on-the-web.html

“But I think now the debate has to shift on from ‘how do we save newspapers’ to ‘how do we save journalism’. ‘I think it’s really imperative that papers like The New York Times – which is in a parlous condition – the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe, which is in tremendous peril and is probably going to go, are saved in terms of what they do, without necessarily worrying about the delivery system. It’s more important to preserve journalism than it is to preserve newspapers, frankly.”

I also thoroughly agree with her assessment of newspapers becoming a luxury item.

“I think there will be some newspapers in 10 years’ time, but with a much more elite and focused audience, charging them more for the papers, going hand-in-hand with a web operation until the generational transition is complete and everyone”

Brown touches on innovation and new models. IMHO to reach a new dominant design for news journalism, I predict that non-media types will have major roles at media companies, tearing apart organizational structures and processes that lifers can’t (like at Ford).

“I think at this point it’s all about innovative approaches. I think we’re involved in a very, very scary transition, where nothing seems to be working financially, but I’m absolutely confident that a new model will emerge.”

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One Response

  1. I believe focusing on content without worrying about delivery is short-sided and why most online models fail. Content is the jewel – distribution is the crown. Without quality distribution journalism does die. The failure of newspapers will impact journalism much more than the new-media experts believe. Most of these “experts” are riding a wave of “free content” that will die quickly. Those media companies that understand the value of distribution will win in the end. The power of the press is the press.

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