The Wired City

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"The Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life," by Dan Kennedy, will be published in May 2013 by University of Massachusetts Press. For more information, please visit http://thewiredcity.org.

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The Wired City

  1. 1. The Wired CityReimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age
  2. 2. Why do we need new models? • The Internet broke the connection between ads and journalism
  3. 3. Why do we need new models? • The Internet broke the connection between ads and journalism • Civic engagement is on the decline in our highly mobile society
  4. 4. Why do we need new models? • The Internet broke the connection between ads and journalism • Civic engagement is on the decline in our highly mobile society • Twin challenges: $$$ and reaching out to “the former audience”
  5. 5. Have you seen the Globe today? • New York Times Co. will sell it for a fraction of what it paid in 1993
  6. 6. Have you seen the Globe today? • New York Times Co. will sell it for a fraction of what it paid in 1993 • Moving from 80% of revenues coming from ads to a 50-50 split
  7. 7. Have you seen the Globe today? • New York Times Co. will sell it for a fraction of what it paid in 1993 • Moving from 80% of revenues coming from ads to a 50-50 split • Too high a paywall risks cutting off Globe from huge online audience
  8. 8. A golden age comes to an end• From 1830s to 2005, newspapers enjoyed advertising dominance
  9. 9. A golden age comes to an end• From 1830s to 2005, newspapers enjoyed advertising dominance• A.J. Liebling on monopoly papers: “good, better, bestest”
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. The decline of civic engagement • In “Bowling Alone,” Putnam tied civic life to newspaper reading
  12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. What is to be done? • Clay Shirky warns that no one thing will replace newspapers
  15. 15. What is to be done? • Clay Shirky warns that no one thing will replace newspapers • What may make up for some of the loss: – Nonprofit media – New forms of for-profit – Volunteer media
  16. 16. What is to be done? • Clay Shirky warns that no one thing will replace newspapers • “The Wired City” takes a look at: – Nonprofit media – New forms of for-profit – Volunteer media
  17. 17. What is to be done? • Clay Shirky warns that no one thing will replace newspapers • “The Wired City” takes a look at: – Nonprofit media – New forms of for-profit – Volunteer media
  18. 18. What is to be done? • Clay Shirky warns that no one thing will replace newspapers • “The Wired City” takes a look at: – Nonprofit media – New forms of for-profit – Volunteer media
  19. 19. Trouble in New Haven • New Haven Register’s parent company goes bankrupt
  20. 20. Trouble in New Haven • New Haven Register’s parent company goes bankrupt • An urban, mostly minority community with few news options
  21. 21. Trouble in New Haven • New Haven Register’s parent company goes bankrupt • An urban, mostly minority community with few news options • What alternatives are there when the marketplace fails?
  22. 22. Technology for journalists
  23. 23. A new model that’s working • New Haven Independent is nonprofit, online-only, supported by donors
  24. 24. A new model that’s working• New Haven Independent is nonprofit, online- only, supported by donors• Staff of four travels city on bikes with cameras and notebooks
  25. 25. A new model that’s working • New Haven Independent is nonprofit, online- only, supported by donors • Staff of four travels city on bikes with cameras and notebooks • Focus on city life, moderated comments create new public square
  26. 26. Strengths of the Independent • Founder and editor Paul Bass isn’t reliant on a shrinking ad base
  27. 27. Strengths of the Independent• Founder and editor Paul Bass isn’t reliant on a shrinking ad base• Online-only format means costs are low
  28. 28. Strengths of the Independent • Founder and editor Paul Bass isn’t reliant on a shrinking ad base • Online-only format means costs are low • Hyperlocal content and two-way conversation build civic engagement
  29. 29. Weaknesses of the Independent • Small readership compared to the New Haven Register
  30. 30. Weaknesses of the Independent • Small readership compared to the New Haven Register • Uncertain funding in future years
  31. 31. Weaknesses of the Independent • Small readership compared to the New Haven Register • Uncertain funding in future years • Lack of print presence may exclude residents who are less engaged
  32. 32. The Register’s uncertain comeback • Under John Paton, parent company JRC embraces “Digital First”
  33. 33. The Register’s uncertain comeback • Under John Paton, parent company JRC embraces “Digital First” • New Register editor Matt DeRienzo reaches out to community
  34. 34. The Register’s uncertain comeback • Under John Paton, parent company JRC embraces “Digital First” • New Register editor Matt DeRienzo reaches out to community • Bankruptcy II: A new beginning, or the beginning of the end?
  35. 35. Other nonprofit media• Connecticut Mirror fills gap left by decline of the Hartford Courant
  36. 36. Other nonprofit media• Connecticut Mirror fills gap left by decline of the Hartford Courant• Voice of San Diego is a reliable alternative to the shaky metro daily
  37. 37. Other nonprofit media• Connecticut Mirror fills gap left by decline of the Hartford Courant• Voice of San Diego is a reliable alternative to the shaky metro daily• NPR is the quality news organization of choice for tens of millions
  38. 38. Limits to the nonprofit model • Foundations tend to give money for only a few years
  39. 39. Limits to the nonprofit model • Foundations tend to give money for only a few years • IRS put a halt to approving nonprofit status for news sites
  40. 40. Limits to the nonprofit model • Foundations tend to give money for only a few years • IRS put a halt to approving nonprofit status for news sites • Nonprofit news organizations can’t endorse candidates
  41. 41. New forms of for-profit news • Christine Stuart’s CT News Junkie covers Connecticut politics
  42. 42. New forms of for-profit news • Christine Stuart’s CT News Junkie covers Connecticut politics • Howard Owens launched The Batavian as a demo project
  43. 43. New forms of for-profit news • Christine Stuart’s CT News Junkie covers Connecticut politics • Howard Owens launched The Batavian as a demo project • Debbie Galant started Baristanet after losing her N.Y. Times column
  44. 44. Limits to the for-profit model• Digital dimes replace print dollars, reducing the scope of coverage
  45. 45. Limits to the for-profit model• Digital dimes replace print dollars, reducing the scope of coverage• Patch is struggling, but with AOL’s support manages to stay alive
  46. 46. Limits to the for-profit model• Digital dimes replace print dollars, reducing the scope of coverage• Patch is struggling, but with AOL’s support manages to stay alive• Few have range of skills needed to handle journalism and business
  47. 47. What’s next? • Tom Stites devised the Banyan Project to foster the rise of news co-ops
  48. 48. What’s next? • Tom Stites devised the Banyan Project to foster the rise of news co-ops • Members would give money and/or labor, as with a food co-op
  49. 49. What’s next? • Tom Stites devised the Banyan Project to foster the rise of news co-ops • Members would give money and/or labor, as with a food co-op • Banyan is launching a pilot in 2013 to be called Haverhill Matters
  50. 50. About the book• “The Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age” will be published in May 2013 by University of Massachusetts Press• Copyright © 2013 by Dan Kennedy• For more information, please visit: thewiredcity.org
  51. 51. Dan Kennedy March 2013 Northeastern University Boston, MA 02115Some images in this presentation may be protected by copyright.If you would like credit, or if you would prefer that your image beremoved, please contact Dan Kennedy at da dot kennedy at neudot edu.

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