Monthly Archives: December 2008

I have a theory about why people stop blogging

…and it is this: they do not become part of an online community. That may be because they don’t link, or don’t comment, or there’s simply no one else out there.

My 5 Stages of a Blogger’s Life hinted at this: there is a moment at which the momentum of starting a blog fades, and a new momentum – the regular input of community – is needed to continue. In other words: there is nothing keeping them blogging. The novelty wears off. The washing needs doing.

This is just a theory, and not founded on anything but a hunch, but I’m putting it out there for your thoughts. Continue reading

What will happen to news publishers? A guess based on what’s happening right now

By Wilbert Baan

The financial crisis speeds up the newspapershift. Media diverges. Newspapers become television, television becomes a press agency. And everything becomes the web. Probably not a single news websites makes enough revenue to employ the same amount of journalists traditional media like newspapers and television employ. The result is a shift. Not in demand, in distribution. What will happen, and how will this shift change organizations?

Here are some ideas and thoughts that I think make sense. Please help me sharpen this concept, or point me at my fallacies. It would be interesting to have a discussion about this. Continue reading

BBC Future of Journalism conference day 2: more reflections (part 1)

The more interesting of the sessions at the BBC’s Future of Journalism conference came on the second day.

Head of BBC Newsroom Peter Horrocks spent most of his session fielding questions from employees concerned about how their particular corner of the corporation would be affected by multimedia newsrooms. That aside, general themes from his presentation and responses to questions included:

  • a need for a broader range of skills, such as information design and software development
  • While strong single-platform performers will be encouraged to continue doing well on that platform, everyone else will be encouraged to work across platforms
  • a need to reach audiences the BBC (and other news organisations) are struggling to engage with, particularly young C2 audiences

User generated content

The second panel, on user generated content, was probably the most interesting of the two days – mainly because it was also the most diverse, including Sky’s Simon Bucks and Paul Hambleton from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation alongside BBC Sport Online’s Claire Stocks, Matthew Eltringham from the BBC’s UGC hub, and Chris Russell from Future Media and Technology. Continue reading

Has Bild stumbled upon a clever business model for news?

German newspaper Bild is “looking to expand without the expense of actually hiring new reporters,” reports The Guardian:

“Bild has joined up with discount supermarket chain Lidl to sell a basic digital camera to a legion of citizen journalists, who the tabloid hopes will contribute images to its coverage.

“”We can’t cover everything,” said Michael Paustian, a Bild managing editor. “We think it is an advance for journalism.”

“The pocket-sized camera has 2GB of memory, can shoot still pictures and video, and costs €69.99 (£60). It comes with software and a USB port that allows “reader-reporters” to upload content directly to editors who will be assigned to review it for publication.”

Predictably, the coverage has focused on the citizen journalism angle and the fears over standards and privacy…

But the real news here, I think, is that Bild may have stumbled across an interesting business model for news. Continue reading

Model for the 21st century newsroom pt.6: new journalists for new information flows

new journalists for new information

new journalists for new information

Information is changing. The news industry was born in a time of information scarcity – and any understanding of the laws of supply and demand will tell you that that made information valuable.

But the past 30 years have seen that the erosion of that scarcity. Not only have the barriers to publishing,  broadcast and distribution been lowered by desktop publishing, satellite and digital technologies, and the web – but a booming PR industry has grown up to provide these news organisations with ‘cheap’ news.

Information is changing. Increasingly, we are not seeking information out – instead, it finds us. The scarcity is not in information, but in our time to wade through it, make meaning of it, and act on it.

Information is changing, and so journalists must too. In the previous parts of this series I’ve looked at how the news process could change in a multiplatform environment; how to involve the former audience; what can now happen after a story is published; journalists and readers as distributors; and new media business models. In this part I want to look at personnel – and how we might move from a generic, hierarchy of ‘reporters’, ‘subs’ and ‘editors’ to a more horizontal structure of roles based on information types. Continue reading