Ever wonder why certain news stories dominate the airwaves while other, "more important" issues, go unnoticed? The medium of communication – be it a TV show, radio program, print publication or digital outlet – attempts to reflect trends based on interest, and provide its audience with the subject matter they want most.
Because the bigger the audience, the more relevance it holds amongst consumers of current news, the more profitable the outlet. But the speed at which this game is played has changed significantly in the past 10 years. It’s faster. Much faster. Like Usain Bolt racing a snail faster.
Last weekend, more than five hundred bloggers gathered at Moorgate, London, for the biggest parent blogger conference in the UK.
The event, BritMums Live, attracted keynotes from Sarah Brown, Ruby Wax, Cherry Healey, and many respected bloggers, journalists and writers.
The debates over what constitutes journalism, and what the future of journalism will look like, rages on.
Last week, a firestorm erupted when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington announced that he was launching a fund to invest in technology startups.
TechCrunch, of course, which is now owned by AOL, is a blog focused on technology startups, and while Arrington will apparently be off the editorial payroll, he'll still be able to contribute as an unpaid blogger.
Adding fuel to the firestorm: the fact that AOL itself is investing in Arrington's fund.
For journalists, the present day may seem like both the best of times and the worst of times.
Traditional news organizations, disrupted by the internet, are
struggling, making it harder to turn journalism into profit.
But at the
same time, change brought about by the internet is creating exciting new
opportunities for journalism.
Newspapers face numerous challenges in the digital age. From online
business models to organizational structure, many newspapers are
struggling to find their way in the world.
And then there are the 'smaller' challenges that are sometimes just as thorny. One of these: the importance of journalist objectivity.
Yesterday, News Corp. made what many publishing executives hope will be
one of the most important announcements in the annals of digital
publishing: the launch of the much-anticipated iPad publication, The
But while subscribing to The Daily is probably accurately described as 'affordable' at 99 cents a week, or $39.99/year, producing the publication isn't. News Corp. has confirmed that its investment to date is already a whopping $30m, and that The Daily will have a weekly overhead of $500,000.
The rescue of 33 miners in Chile this week is the 'feel-good' story of
the year. No fictional Hollywood movie could surpass the hope and joy it
has inspired around the world.
Yet according to some journalism academics, what happened in Chile is really "a story about journalism’s failure."
The Huffington Post, with its legion of unpaid contributors, has
provided a controversial model for journalism and publishing in the
digital age. Despite the controversy, it's hard to
argue that the Huffington Post hasn't had some success with its model
The model has apparently worked well enough to interest stodgy old
publishers to get in on the act. According to a tweet from Forbes
editor David M. Ewalt, Forbes.com will soon see its own brand of the
HuffPo model: standard journalistic fare supplemented with "a level 2
bottom of the pyramid: 1000s of outside contributors."
Journalism, apparently, is in trouble. The once-dominant financiers of journalism -- newspapers -- are dying. And while some see hope in new media, the harsh reality is that journalism's woes have less to do with distribution mediums and more to do with business models.
That's because the kind of journalism that is threatened is expensive, and even online, there aren't too many business models that can support it. So what should we do?
Prominent blog network operator Gawker Media paid only $5,000 for the biggest tech scoop ever, but the total cost is proving to be far
greater for Gawker Media.
As has been widely reported, police raided the home of Gawker Media
employee Jason Chen. Chen is an editor for Gawker-owned Gizmodo, and is
the man seen showing off the next-generation that was left in a Silicon
Valley bar by an Apple employee before making its way to Gawker.