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Creating the
Future of News
Questions to Consider
Richard Gingras
gingras@google.com
April 20, 2012
Disruption in Media
Not the first. Not the last.
Disruption in Media
  Shi$s	
  in	
  distribu-on	
  shape	
  	
  
the	
  business	
  model	
  	
  
  The	
  40	
  “golden”	
  years	
  of	
  
newspaper	
  profitability	
  was	
  
triggered	
  by	
  an	
  earlier	
  media	
  
disrup;on:	
  television.	
  
  Open	
  distribu;on	
  of	
  the	
  
Internet	
  eradicated	
  print	
  
distribu;on	
  leverage	
  
1949 1959
Newspapers
TV
Brand & Scope
Defining products
in a marketplace of niches
Brand	
  &	
  Scope	
  
  Content	
  economy	
  is	
  less	
  about	
  
demographics;	
  more	
  about	
  context	
  
and	
  relevance	
  
  Disaggregated,	
  open,	
  and	
  filled	
  with	
  
niche	
  players	
  
  Cross-­‐subsidiza;on	
  was	
  important	
  for	
  
newspapers.	
  Now	
  it’s	
  more	
  difficult	
  
  Consider	
  the	
  cost/revenue	
  economics	
  
at	
  the	
  segment	
  level	
  
Brand	
  &	
  Scope	
  
In	
  a	
  marketplace	
  rich	
  with	
  
niche	
  players,	
  does	
  an	
  all-­‐
things-­‐to-­‐all-­‐people	
  “portal”	
  
product	
  make	
  sense?	
  Might	
  it	
  
beSer	
  be	
  thought	
  of	
  as	
  a	
  
stable	
  of	
  focused	
  brands?	
  
Q:
Audience Flows
& Site Design
Optimizing for multiple
entry points
Audience Flows & Site Design
Story Page
75%
Home Page
25%
Audience	
  Flows	
  &	
  Site	
  Design	
  
How	
  do	
  changes	
  in	
  audience	
  
flows	
  impact	
  site	
  design,	
  or	
  
indeed	
  trigger	
  the	
  rethinking	
  
the	
  very	
  defini;on	
  of	
  a	
  
website?	
  
Q:
Content
Architecture
Capacity is unlimited.
Creating content is expensive.
Use it all.
Content	
  Architecture	
  
  Not	
  about	
  edi;ons.	
  Not	
  about	
  ephemeral	
  
streams	
  of	
  ar;cles	
  
  It	
  can	
  be	
  a	
  real-­‐;me,	
  living	
  resource	
  	
  
  The	
  story	
  page	
  is	
  the	
  most	
  valuable	
  real	
  estate!	
  
Ephemeral anthrax attack article Persistent anthrax attack resource
Content	
  Architecture	
  
Should	
  we	
  not	
  explore	
  and	
  
adopt	
  new	
  approaches	
  that	
  
maintain	
  the	
  full	
  expression	
  
of	
  a	
  reporter’s	
  efforts	
  in	
  one	
  
place	
  behind	
  a	
  persistent	
  
URL?	
  
Q:
Style & Form
“Every new medium begins
as a container for the old”
  The	
  right	
  form	
  for	
  the	
  right	
  
medium	
  –	
  long,	
  short,	
  other	
  
  The	
  evolu;on	
  of	
  the	
  social	
  
network	
  post	
  
  Effec;ve	
  user	
  of	
  embedded	
  links	
  
and	
  footnotes	
  
  Properly	
  tuning	
  for	
  search	
  
  Leveraging	
  rich	
  media	
  when	
  it	
  
makes	
  sense	
  
Style	
  and	
  Form	
  
In	
  a	
  culture	
  of	
  bullet	
  points,	
  
updates,	
  and	
  posts,	
  are	
  there	
  
approaches	
  to	
  conveying	
  in-­‐
depth	
  journalism	
  that	
  move	
  
beyond	
  the	
  current	
  
templates?	
  
Q:
Computational
Journalism
Big data. Smart data.
Knowledge.
  Computer	
  programming	
  to	
  mul;ply	
  the	
  
value	
  of	
  a	
  reporter’s	
  efforts	
  
  Inves;ga;ve	
  	
  
reports	
  wriSen	
  	
  
with	
  Fusion	
  tables	
  	
  
and	
  query	
  strings	
  
  A	
  logical	
  part	
  of	
  	
  
the	
  resource	
  mix	
  
Computa;onal	
  Journalism	
  
Can	
  computa;onal	
  journalism	
  
be	
  used	
  not	
  only	
  to	
  help	
  with	
  
stories	
  but	
  eventually	
  become	
  
persistent,	
  automated	
  
inves;ga;ve	
  reports?	
  	
  
Q:
Reporter’s Tools
Getting the most out of a most
precious asset
Reporter’s	
  Tools	
  
Since	
  the	
  medium	
  can	
  
accommodate	
  the	
  full	
  
expression	
  of	
  a	
  reporter’s	
  
work,	
  is	
  there	
  not	
  huge	
  value	
  
in	
  developing	
  tools	
  to	
  
op;mize	
  a	
  reporter’s	
  efforts?	
  
Q:
2.0
Organizational
Roles
The right approach for the right
medium at the right time
Organiza;onal	
  Roles	
  &	
  Workflow
  The	
  role	
  of	
  a	
  reporter	
  when	
  
tools,	
  ;ming	
  and	
  procedures	
  
are	
  different	
  
  The	
  role	
  of	
  an	
  editor	
  in	
  an	
  
edi;on-­‐less	
  environment	
  with	
  
mul;ple	
  forums	
  to	
  engage	
  
  The	
  use	
  of	
  different	
  resources	
  
from	
  computa;onal	
  
journalists	
  to	
  the	
  trusted	
  
crowd	
  
Organiza;onal	
  Roles	
  &	
  Workflow	
  
Given	
  current	
  and	
  future	
  
advances	
  in	
  how	
  news	
  is	
  
gathered,	
  organized	
  and	
  
presented,	
  does	
  that	
  not	
  
require	
  a	
  complete	
  “digital	
  
first”	
  rethinking	
  of	
  editorial	
  
roles	
  and	
  workflow?	
  	
  	
  .	
  .	
  .	
  
Q:
Organiza;onal	
  Roles	
  &	
  Workflow	
  
.	
  .	
  .	
  	
  Are	
  there	
  new	
  approaches	
  
that	
  let	
  news	
  organiza;ons	
  
leverage	
  the	
  assistance	
  of	
  the	
  
trusted	
  crowd?	
  .	
  .	
  .	
  
Q:
Organiza;onal	
  Roles	
  &	
  Workflow	
  
.	
  .	
  .	
  	
  Might	
  we	
  benefit	
  from	
  
systems	
  that	
  allow	
  small	
  news	
  
orgs	
  to	
  collaborate	
  and	
  work	
  
together?	
  
Q:
Culture of Innovation
It is not a luxury.
It can’t be intermittent.1
It must be part of an
organization’s DNA.2
1. Cycle of change is too rapid
2. No, it’s not a Chief Innovation Officer!
Culture	
  of	
  Innova;on	
  
How	
  do	
  we	
  staff	
  news	
  
organiza;ons	
  with	
  the	
  right	
  
resources	
  and	
  the	
  right	
  
mindset	
  to	
  imbue	
  constant	
  
innova;on	
  into	
  the	
  culture’s	
  
DNA	
  and	
  into	
  the	
  role	
  of	
  every	
  
par;cipant?	
  
Q:
A Different World
Quality journalism is more
important than ever
A	
  Different	
  World	
  
  The	
  Internet	
  can	
  offer	
  support	
  any	
  
opinion,	
  belief,	
  or	
  fear	
  and	
  give	
  it	
  
greater	
  volume	
  
  We	
  can	
  no	
  longer	
  say,	
  “trust	
  us	
  
because	
  you	
  should	
  trust	
  us.”	
  
  We	
  need	
  new	
  methods,	
  new	
  forms,	
  
new	
  tools	
  
A	
  Different	
  World	
  
Can	
  journalism’s	
  future	
  be	
  
stronger	
  and	
  beSer	
  than	
  its	
  
past?	
  
Doesn’t	
  it	
  have	
  to	
  be?	
  Isn’t	
  
that	
  why	
  we	
  are	
  here?	
  
Q:
Gingras

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Gingras

  • 1. Creating the Future of News Questions to Consider Richard Gingras gingras@google.com April 20, 2012
  • 2. Disruption in Media Not the first. Not the last.
  • 3. Disruption in Media   Shi$s  in  distribu-on  shape     the  business  model       The  40  “golden”  years  of   newspaper  profitability  was   triggered  by  an  earlier  media   disrup;on:  television.     Open  distribu;on  of  the   Internet  eradicated  print   distribu;on  leverage   1949 1959 Newspapers TV
  • 4. Brand & Scope Defining products in a marketplace of niches
  • 5. Brand  &  Scope     Content  economy  is  less  about   demographics;  more  about  context   and  relevance     Disaggregated,  open,  and  filled  with   niche  players     Cross-­‐subsidiza;on  was  important  for   newspapers.  Now  it’s  more  difficult     Consider  the  cost/revenue  economics   at  the  segment  level  
  • 6. Brand  &  Scope   In  a  marketplace  rich  with   niche  players,  does  an  all-­‐ things-­‐to-­‐all-­‐people  “portal”   product  make  sense?  Might  it   beSer  be  thought  of  as  a   stable  of  focused  brands?   Q:
  • 7. Audience Flows & Site Design Optimizing for multiple entry points
  • 8. Audience Flows & Site Design Story Page 75% Home Page 25%
  • 9. Audience  Flows  &  Site  Design   How  do  changes  in  audience   flows  impact  site  design,  or   indeed  trigger  the  rethinking   the  very  defini;on  of  a   website?   Q:
  • 10. Content Architecture Capacity is unlimited. Creating content is expensive. Use it all.
  • 11. Content  Architecture     Not  about  edi;ons.  Not  about  ephemeral   streams  of  ar;cles     It  can  be  a  real-­‐;me,  living  resource       The  story  page  is  the  most  valuable  real  estate!   Ephemeral anthrax attack article Persistent anthrax attack resource
  • 12. Content  Architecture   Should  we  not  explore  and   adopt  new  approaches  that   maintain  the  full  expression   of  a  reporter’s  efforts  in  one   place  behind  a  persistent   URL?   Q:
  • 13. Style & Form “Every new medium begins as a container for the old”
  • 14.   The  right  form  for  the  right   medium  –  long,  short,  other     The  evolu;on  of  the  social   network  post     Effec;ve  user  of  embedded  links   and  footnotes     Properly  tuning  for  search     Leveraging  rich  media  when  it   makes  sense  
  • 15. Style  and  Form   In  a  culture  of  bullet  points,   updates,  and  posts,  are  there   approaches  to  conveying  in-­‐ depth  journalism  that  move   beyond  the  current   templates?   Q:
  • 17.   Computer  programming  to  mul;ply  the   value  of  a  reporter’s  efforts     Inves;ga;ve     reports  wriSen     with  Fusion  tables     and  query  strings     A  logical  part  of     the  resource  mix  
  • 18. Computa;onal  Journalism   Can  computa;onal  journalism   be  used  not  only  to  help  with   stories  but  eventually  become   persistent,  automated   inves;ga;ve  reports?     Q:
  • 19. Reporter’s Tools Getting the most out of a most precious asset
  • 20. Reporter’s  Tools   Since  the  medium  can   accommodate  the  full   expression  of  a  reporter’s   work,  is  there  not  huge  value   in  developing  tools  to   op;mize  a  reporter’s  efforts?   Q: 2.0
  • 21. Organizational Roles The right approach for the right medium at the right time
  • 22. Organiza;onal  Roles  &  Workflow   The  role  of  a  reporter  when   tools,  ;ming  and  procedures   are  different     The  role  of  an  editor  in  an   edi;on-­‐less  environment  with   mul;ple  forums  to  engage     The  use  of  different  resources   from  computa;onal   journalists  to  the  trusted   crowd  
  • 23. Organiza;onal  Roles  &  Workflow   Given  current  and  future   advances  in  how  news  is   gathered,  organized  and   presented,  does  that  not   require  a  complete  “digital   first”  rethinking  of  editorial   roles  and  workflow?      .  .  .   Q:
  • 24. Organiza;onal  Roles  &  Workflow   .  .  .    Are  there  new  approaches   that  let  news  organiza;ons   leverage  the  assistance  of  the   trusted  crowd?  .  .  .   Q:
  • 25. Organiza;onal  Roles  &  Workflow   .  .  .    Might  we  benefit  from   systems  that  allow  small  news   orgs  to  collaborate  and  work   together?   Q:
  • 26. Culture of Innovation It is not a luxury. It can’t be intermittent.1 It must be part of an organization’s DNA.2 1. Cycle of change is too rapid 2. No, it’s not a Chief Innovation Officer!
  • 27. Culture  of  Innova;on   How  do  we  staff  news   organiza;ons  with  the  right   resources  and  the  right   mindset  to  imbue  constant   innova;on  into  the  culture’s   DNA  and  into  the  role  of  every   par;cipant?   Q:
  • 28. A Different World Quality journalism is more important than ever
  • 29. A  Different  World     The  Internet  can  offer  support  any   opinion,  belief,  or  fear  and  give  it   greater  volume     We  can  no  longer  say,  “trust  us   because  you  should  trust  us.”     We  need  new  methods,  new  forms,   new  tools  
  • 30. A  Different  World   Can  journalism’s  future  be   stronger  and  beSer  than  its   past?   Doesn’t  it  have  to  be?  Isn’t   that  why  we  are  here?   Q: