Newspaper editors’ demands rile bloggers

9 04 2009

The vague demands of news executives at the Associated Press meeting this week have met with widespread hostility on the Web. The AP board wants Internet news aggregators and search engines that link to their content to pay up. No one seems to be exactly sure how this would work.

I’d prefer to see collaboration between the old media and the new. The Web needs the branded credibility that comes with the AP, newspaper and broadcast network logos. Web news content will inevitably suffer — has already suffered — as traditional news organs go bust. It seems unrealistic to me for the Webbies to dig in and refuse to consider a payment model. There’s no such thing as free. We all paid for journalism in the cost of our consumer products when advertising supported news. This model is broken, but another must take its place.

Yes, newspapers were slow to react, and their intransigence is largely responsible for their present predicament. That’s the nature of any institution in the face of revolutionary change, but it’s not the whole story. Web purveyors would be wise to stop pointing fingers and start working with traditional media toward a solution.

Here we go

8 04 2009

I’ve started this blog to collect thoughts on the place of the journalist or publicist in the continually changing world of communications.

Many years have passed since I first observed that the lines between bona fide journalism and opinion, entertainment, and public relations were rapidly dissolving, as were distinctions among print, broadcast, on online media.

Only recently, however, have I come to realize that we’ve passed the so-called tipping point. We way we have done business no longer works.

Many people much smarter than I are commenting on this  every day, but I continue to feel no one has correctly pointed the way, if that is even possible.

The questions, and the stakes, are enormous:

  • What is journalism today, and how can we identify it?
  • How do we brand credibility?
  • Can democracy survive without an identifiable Fourth Estate?
  • How is capitalism related to journalism?
  • How do we pay for journalism?
  • Does advertising still work? For how long?
  • Must multiplicity of media result in selective ignorance?

Whew. I don’t have the answers. I don’t intend to simply convey my own musings here. But I will pass along thoughts and developments related to these  issues as I stumble across them.