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The Future of News(papers)
 

The Future of News(papers)

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This was a catch-all "market analysis" presentation I put together in October 2008, based in part on some thinking of Jeff Jarvis regarding an emerging "press sphere," among other topics addressed ...

This was a catch-all "market analysis" presentation I put together in October 2008, based in part on some thinking of Jeff Jarvis regarding an emerging "press sphere," among other topics addressed here.

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    The Future of News(papers) The Future of News(papers) Presentation Transcript

    • Future of News(papers) A review of business models, experiments, innovations, and more Seth C. Lewis School of Journalism, UT-Austin [email_address]
    • Overview
      • State of the newspaper industry
      • Fundamental shift from print to online
      • Emerging forms of journalism
      • But, wait— show me the money!
        • Are these really profitable business models?
        • How should we restructure the newsroom?
        • Seeing a post-print future
    • State of the News(paper) Industry
    • In a word …
    • UGLY
    • Problem 1: Circulation
      • For U.S. dailies, 50M — lowest level since 1946
      • But population has doubled since then
      • So, newspaper penetration is half what it was
        • Then: 36 of 100 American adults bought paper
        • Today: 18 of 100
      • Newspaper circulation should be 92 million
      • Newspaper circulation, revenue and market share figures from Alan Mutter , Jeff Jarvis , PEJ
    • Falling for decades …
    • … but spiraling since 2003
    • Problem 2: Revenue
      • 2007: steepest decline in 60 years
      • Down 9.4% to $42 billion
      • “If you liked 2007, you’re going to love 2008”
      • Online salvation? Not yet …
        • Online ad revenue accounts for 7.5% of total revenue, but declined by 14% in Q1-Q2 2008
    • Problem 3: Market Value
      • Overall
        • 11 top public newspaper companies down 50% (or $50 billion! ) since 2004
      • McClatchy: down 95% since 2005
      • Lee: down 92% since 2004
      • NYTimes: down 75% since 2002
      • Gannett: down 65% since 2004
      • Gatehouse: virtually wiped out — down 97%
    • Newsroom jobs lost 2007: 2,185 2008: 8,118 so far
    • What’s happening this week
      • Christian Science Monitor drops print
      • Gannett: 10% workfoce cut
      • More circulation woes (’07 to ‘08)
        • Avg: -5%
        • Atlanta: -13%!
    • “ The world needs journalism now more than ever. We just don’t need paper .” — NYTimes.com reader
    • Fundamental shift: analog --> digital
    • Economics of print to online
      • Guiding principle: Rational choice theory
        • Vin Crosbie : It’s not just the Internet that’s killing newspapers
        • Rather, it’s that choice has proliferated by a magnitude of Google
      • Information surplus (“data smog”)
      • Newspapers vs. all things interesting online
    • Disrupting the news model
      • Owned and controlled
      • Centralized
      • One size fits all
      • One-way
      • “Perfection” as the standard package
      • Source: Jeff Jarvis
      • Never starts, never ends
      • Transparency
      • Input and collaboration
      • Powered by links
      • Enables networks
      Product Process
    •  
    •  
    •  
    • Disrupting the news model
      • See Jeff Jarvis
    • New models for news
      • Pros …
        • Hyperlocal coverage
        • Link model
        • Non-profit ventures
        • Narrow and deep
      • Amateurs …
        • Citizen journalism
        • Crowdsourcing
    • Bringing In the User: Emerging Forms of Journalism
    • What is user-generated content?
      • Digital media content created and distributed by end-users formerly known as the audience
      • Better put, it’s “stuff from us”
      • Takes many forms:
        • Blogs
        • Wikis
        • Social networking
        • Visual communication sharing (Flickr, YouTube)
        • And much more
    • UGC and Web 2.0: key characteristics
      • Architecture: Web is the platform; distributed, open-source feel to the software
      • Participation : End-users play key role in creating , rating and debating content
      • Network effects: Value added as people use it
      • Dynamic content: Metadata, mashups, etc.
      • Rich user interface
      • Collectivity: The crowd knows more than any one person individually
    • Creating platforms, not content
      • Now, it’s all about open — open-source, open standards, open to everyone. No gates.
      • Web publishers create platforms and let users create the content
      • From one-way to multi-way communication
      • From sealed-off information silos to empty warehouses waiting to be filled with “stuff”
      • Source: Mark Briggs, “Journalism 2.0”
    •  
    • Rise of citizen media
      • “In 2006, citizens made it clear that they wanted a voice. In 2007, more ways of doing that began to emerge and that voice became stronger. Now, 2008 looks to be the year the mainstream press tries to lure citizens toward creating the content within their own outlets.”
        • State of the News Media 2008
    • Example 1: Citizen Journalism
    • Jay Rosen’s definition Jay Rosen, 2008
      • “ When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.”
      • “ When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.”
      • “ When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.”
      • “ When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.”
      • “ When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another , that’s citizen journalism.”
      • “ When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism .”
    • How does this work in practice?
      • You write about a city council meeting on your blog
      • Capture eyewitness moment with your digital camera and post to a news site
      • Grab video of something newsy and post to YouTube
      • In other words …
        • Create , augment , or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others
    •  
    • How online news sites use citizen-J Pros in charge Amateur control Opening up to comments Add-on reporter Citizen bloghouse Stand-alone citizen site; minimal editing Hybrid: pro + citizen Wiki-style
    • Example 2: Crowdsourcing
    • Key principles
      • The crowd is dispersed
      • The crowd has a short attention span
      • The crowd is full of specialists
      • The crowd produces mostly crap
      • The crowd finds the best stuff
        • Source: “ The Rise of Crowdsourcing ,” by Jeff Howe (2006)
    • Crowdsourcing and Journalism
      • Crowdsourcing, in journalism , is the use of a large group of readers to report a news story. It differs from traditional reporting in that the information collected is gathered not manually, by a reporter or team of reporters, but through some automated agent , such as a website .
      • Source: Robert Niles
    • A spectrum of input
      • From the simple …
        • Reading documents (a la Dallas Morning News case)
        • Sending in photos (of polling places, for instance)
      • … To the more challenging …
        • Researching and writing articles
      • The point
        • The collective efforts of non-specialists can add up to more than one expert individual
        • Dan Gillmor: “my readers know more than I do”
    • How it works
      • Lend us your eyes
      • Help us gather data
      • Submit your photos/videos
      • The keys …
        • Keep it simple
        • Keep it directed
        • Provide an easy, automated interface
    • Lending Us Your Eyes
      • Dallas Morning News and the JFK files
        • “ Given the volume, we haven't been able to review most of the files. That's why were calling on you. Here's your chance to review never-seen-before materials related to the JFK assassination.”
      • RocDocs
        • “ We’re inviting you to help us be watchdogs”
      • Work of TPM Muckraker
      • (Hat tip: JP Digital Digest )
    • Gathering ‘everyday’ info
      • WNYC
        • “ Are you being gouged ?”
        • Gas-guzzlers on the street
      • GasBuddy
      • Problems at polling stations in Cincy ?
    • And more
      • Full articles written by users …
        • Example: NowPublic
      • … or edited by users
        • Example: Wikinews
      • Beyond journalism
        • Google Image Labeler
        • Amazon Mechanical Turk
    • Like citizen journalism, but …
      • … crowdsourcing is easier
        • Users are given bite-sized tasks to accomplish
        • Time commitment can be small
      • Unlike more traditional notions of “citizen journalism,” crowdsourcing does not ask readers to become anything more than what they’ve always been: eyewitnesses to their daily lives .
    • Is crowdsourcing the future?
      • “The failure of one citizen journalism Web business after another this year ought to be showing news publishers that a business model based on readers doing reporters’ jobs for free isn’t working.” ( Robert Niles )
      • But be warned …
        • Open-source journalism is tough
        • You have get the division of labor just right
    • Show me the money! (or, can any of these ventures pay for themselves?)
    • Short answer:
    • Not yet.
    • Let’s assume current conditions continue (same biz model, etc.)
    • Crossing the Chasm: From Print to Online Revenue
      • “ It’s going to be really bloody, incredibly devastating. And I think there are going to be a lot of major metros that don’t make it.”
      • — Mark Potts, recoveringjournalist.com
    • Crossing the Chasm
    • Crossing the Chasm
    • Is there hope in innovation?
    • Future Business Models
      • New cost structures
        • Blow up the newsroom as we know it
        • Focus on efficiency, lowering fixed costs
      • Adopt the network model
        • For ads and news content
        • Do what you do best, and link to the rest
      • Public/non-profit financing
      • New “side-door” revenue (via data, services)
      • — See Jeff Jarvis’ presentation
    • Or, be like Google