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  1. 1. The Evolution of News From Gate-keeping to Sense-making Bill Mitchell Senior Roundtable National Investor Relations Institute December 4, 2008
  2. 2. Launch of one of the first online newspapers: San Jose Mercury News : May 1993
  3. 3. Newspaper readership trends: 1967-2006 (source: Nat’l Opinion Research Center/Philip Meyer)
  4. 4. On the other hand… <ul><li>Combined reach of many news organizations (online as well as legacy platform) is growing </li></ul><ul><li>The influence & agenda-setting of established media remains strong </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term, digital publishing of news holds significant commercial promise </li></ul>
  5. 5. Popular Again: Papers Can’t Print Enough Election Editions
  6. 6. Taking some of the expense out of news… (Source: Edward Roussel, The Telegraph)
  7. 7. Digital information is… <ul><li>More Personal </li></ul><ul><li>Less Institutional </li></ul><ul><li>Less Verified </li></ul><ul><li>More Distributed </li></ul>
  8. 8. Implications of distributed information <ul><li>Cheaper </li></ul><ul><li>Faster </li></ul><ul><li>Less controlled </li></ul><ul><li>Less reliable </li></ul><ul><li>More powerful </li></ul>
  9. 9. Journalism as gatekeeper, pre-Web
  10. 10. Journalism’s gate to the Web today
  11. 11. Around the Gates: Your Company Described
  12. 12. Anonymity (temporary or otherwise)
  13. 13. Former employee model <ul><li>Established knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Established contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Established credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Potential issues? </li></ul>
  14. 14. User-generated content model
  15. 15. The risks: Fake report posted to CNN’s iReport (screengrab from Sillicon Valley Insider)
  16. 16. “ Rallying for a cause” model
  17. 17. Everybody’s a Journalist
  18. 18. Including Your Customers
  19. 19. More crowdsourcing: 40,000 Polish moms review hospital maternity services (Source: Grzegorz Piechota, Gazeta Wyborcza )
  20. 20. The blended model: pro-am approach
  21. 21. DealBook readers as content providers
  22. 22. New World Realities (for the news business) <ul><li>Loss of control is inevitable (and addressable) </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymity is tricky </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-off strategy doesn’t work </li></ul><ul><li>Usual suspects (and sources) not enough </li></ul><ul><li>Involving the audience can dramatically improve the journalism </li></ul>
  23. 23. A company dissected on third-party message board
  24. 25. A Company joins (and hosts) the discussion
  25. 26. OXBO: Quick eShareholder case study <ul><li>Forum launched last week on iMiners platform </li></ul><ul><li>No registration required to read </li></ul><ul><li>Only verified shareholders may post </li></ul><ul><li>Clear groundrules set </li></ul><ul><li>Posts reviewed before they go live (and some never do) </li></ul><ul><li>Sources : Abe Wischnia, Abe Wischnia & Associates ( [email_address] ), </li></ul><ul><li>Michael O’Brien, iMiners, Inc. ( [email_address] ) </li></ul>
  26. 27. Corporate model: building community
  27. 28. Corporate model: addressing rumors
  28. 29. Some questions for Your Companies: <ul><li>New ways of thinking about information? (Sense-making vs. gate-keeping) </li></ul><ul><li>Policies guiding independent publishing by employees (blogs, Facebook, etc.)? </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies to address, urgently, the viral distribution of false info about your company? </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas for making effective use of digital publishing in telling your firm’s story? </li></ul>
  29. 30. Some questions for you <ul><li>What do you need to learn about emerging models of info distribution? </li></ul><ul><li>What applications and technologies require your fluency? </li></ul><ul><li>Your awareness? </li></ul>
  30. 31. Skills and Tools <ul><li>Aggregation ( </li></ul><ul><li>Info/opinion gathering (Surveymonkey, Zoomerang) </li></ul><ul><li>Fast updating, link sharing (Twitter) </li></ul><ul><li>Link shrinking ( </li></ul><ul><li>Daily publishing (Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad) </li></ul><ul><li>Topic tracking (RSS, Technorati, Google Alerts) </li></ul><ul><li>Social media (Linked-in, Ning, Facebook) </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation (Digg) </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization ( </li></ul>
  31. 32. What do you stand for? What principles will guide the ways you and your firm deal with news and information?
  32. 33. Four principles from the world of journalism (we’re talking aspirational principles here…) <ul><li>Telling as much of the truth as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Operating as independently as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Minimizing harm </li></ul><ul><li>Developing sustainable business models </li></ul>
  33. 34. Resources <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Contact: [email_address] </li></ul>