Monday, June 28, 2010

Ken Doctor, in his book entitled NEWSONOMICS: 12 New Trends That will Shape the News You Get, adds some great points to the debate about the future of news. He weaves in interesting facts and figures and interviews many industry thought leaders. He’s been a frequent speaker and contributor to SIIA events so it was interesting to get his take on the topic. A few points that really jumped out at me include:

How much influence will be exerted by whoever pays for the news in the years ahead? He reminds us that “Someone always pays for the news, and the support has always spawned debates about who news organizations favor or fear.” As news organizations experiment with hyperlocal coverage at The New Haven Independent or the non-profit business model of The Texas Tribune, we get some perspectives on how that news will get paid for and delivered.

Ken also points out that “News is unlike any other business. It balances profit-making and public service at it score. Citizens across the globe depend on the business of news to find out what’s going on. Who brings us the news matters.” This “follow the money” approach reminds the reader as to how this business works and Doctor does a nice job of providing examples with real numbers to illustrate these points.

By interviewing lots of people I know and respect like Patrick Spain of Newser, Rafat Ali of PaidContent and Larry Schwartz at Newstex, Ken gives a balanced perspective on what we should expect in the future. At the end of the book he points out that “just as we pay for cable programming and broadband Internet and support all kinds of community and global organization, we can support news and information. As a representative of many paid content companies– I could not agree more.

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