What's Next for News?

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Lecture slides for talk to the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System on Nov. 12, 2009. Updated for Reinventing the News students in January 2011.

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What's Next for News?

  1. What’s next for the news? The future of journalism in an uncertain age
  2. A golden age comes to an end • From 1830s to 2005, newspapers enjoyed advertising dominance
  3. A golden age comes to an end • From 1830s to 2005, newspapers enjoyed advertising dominance • A.J. Liebling on monopoly papers: “good, better, bestest”
  4. A golden age comes to an end • From 1830s to 2005, newspapers enjoyed advertising dominance • A.J. Liebling on monopoly papers: “good, better, bestest” • Philip Meyer: The Lords of Savoy no longer control the toll gate
  5. Blowing up the old model • Vertical destruction – Technology and social change have wiped out advertising revenues
  6. Blowing up the old model • Vertical destruction – Technology and social change have wiped out advertising revenues – Craigslist, Monster.com, and the like have all but killed classifieds
  7. Blowing up the old model • Vertical destruction – Technology and social change have wiped out advertising revenues – Craigslist, Monster.com, and the like have all but killed classifieds – Vibrant downtowns have given way to Wal-Mart and other big-box stores
  8. Blowing up the old model • Vertical destruction • Horizontal destruction – Everything is available, so readers look beyond their local paper for national and foreign news
  9. Blowing up the old model • Vertical destruction • Horizontal destruction – Everything is available, so readers look beyond their local paper for national and foreign news – Specialty websites are serving niche audiences for sports, gossip, politics, and more
  10. The decline of civic engagement • In “Bowling Alone,” Putnam tied civic life to newspaper reading
  11. The decline of civic engagement • In “Bowling Alone,” Putnam tied civic life to newspaper reading • If the public doesn’t care, then journalism is endangered
  12. The decline of civic engagement • In “Bowling Alone,” Putnam tied civic life to newspaper reading • If the public doesn’t care, then journalism is endangered • News organizations must create their own involved publics
  13. Building a news constituency • Civic journalism sought to involve the public in coverage of issues
  14. Building a news constituency • Civic journalism sought to involve the public in coverage of issues • Citizen journalism and blogging were the next steps in the conversation
  15. Building a news constituency • Civic journalism sought to involve the public in coverage of issues • Citizen journalism and blogging were the next steps in the conversation • Limits to citizen media: Whom can we trust in the post-newspaper age?
  16. Technology for journalists
  17. A possible model for the future • New Haven Independent is non-profit, online-only, supported by grants
  18. A possible model for the future • New Haven Independent is non-profit, online-only, supported by grants • Staff of four travels city on bikes with cheap cameras and notebooks
  19. A possible model for the future • New Haven Independent is non-profit, online-only, supported by grants • Staff of four travels city on bikes with cheap cameras and notebooks • Focus on city life, moderated comments create new public square
  20. Strengths of the Independent • Not reliant on a shrinking base of advertising
  21. Strengths of the Independent • Not reliant on a shrinking base of advertising • Online-only format means costs are low
  22. Strengths of the Independent • Not reliant on a shrinking base of advertising • Online-only format means costs are low • Hyperlocal content and two-way conversation build civic engagement
  23. Weaknesses of the Independent • Small readership compared to city’s daily, the New Haven Register
  24. Weaknesses of the Independent • Small readership compared to city’s daily, the New Haven Register • Uncertain funding in future years
  25. Weaknesses of the Independent • Small readership compared to city’s daily, the New Haven Register • Uncertain funding in future years • Few resources to do in-depth investigative journalism
  26. Other projects to watch • Non-profit ProPublica offers a new way of funding investigations
  27. Other projects to watch • Non-profit ProPublica offers a new way of funding investigations • Global Voices curates the international blogosphere
  28. Other projects to watch • Non-profit ProPublica offers a new way of funding investigations • Global Voices curates the international blogosphere • GlobalPost seeks to fill gap left by newspapers and television networks
  29. Have you seen the Globe today?
  30. The Globe’s struggle for survival • Major metropolitan newspapers are caught between two trends
  31. The Globe’s struggle for survival • Major metropolitan newspapers are caught between two trends – Too small to compete with The New York Times and The Washington Post (and others) on national and foreign coverage
  32. The Globe’s struggle for survival • Major metropolitan newspapers are caught between two trends – Too big to compete with community weeklies and small dailies on hyperlocal coverage
  33. The Globe’s struggle for survival • Major metropolitan newspapers are caught between two trends • The Globe has reinvented itself as a local and regional paper
  34. The Globe’s struggle for survival • Major metropolitan newspapers are caught between two trends • The Globe has reinvented itself as a local and regional paper • Ad losses and a tide of red ink have given way to modest success
  35. A multifaceted strategy • Charge as much for the print edition as the market will bear
  36. A multifaceted strategy • Charge as much for the print edition as the market will bear • Save Sunday paper while shifting to weekday e-delivery
  37. A multifaceted strategy • Charge as much for the print edition as the market will bear • Save Sunday paper while shifting to weekday e-delivery • Supplement paid BostonGlobe.com with free Boston.com site
  38. The hub-and-spokes model • Tech site BetaBoston drives readers to and from the Globe
  39. The hub-and-spokes model • Tech site BetaBoston drives readers to and from the Globe • RadioBDC extends the brand to non-readers
  40. The hub-and-spokes model • Tech site BetaBoston drives readers to and from the Globe • RadioBDC extends the brand to non-readers • Crux covers the Catholic Church and is aimed at the English-speaking world
  41. A time for optimism
  42. A time for optimism • For news consumers, more quality choices than ever before
  43. A time for optimism • For news consumers, more quality choices than ever before • Challenge is to match journalism with revenue and civic engagement
  44. A time for optimism • For news consumers, more quality choices than ever before • Challenge is to match journalism with revenue and civic engagement • Today’s young journalists will define the future for all of us
  45. (cc) 2009 and 2014 by Dan Kennedy Creative Commons license can be found at www.dankennedy.net Some of the images in this slideshow may be protected by copyright. If you are the copyright-holder and would like credit, or if you would like me to remove any of them, please contact me at dan dot kennedy at neu dot edu. Northeastern University Boston, MA 02115

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