Apocalypse 36: Status Report

Posted: September 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Apocalypse Series, Journalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

For over two years, I have been writing a series of posts on the media industry called the Apocalypse. I am often asked whether that’s overly pessimistic. My answer: ‘apocalypse’ is a term we use for the end of the world, sure, but it’s also, to those who take the term seriously, supposed to herald the revelation of something new and extraordinary. That is what I believe is coming to media, whenever the chaotic collapse of the model we know is over.

Occasionally, the Apocalypse Series has attempted to read the tea leaves and make predictions about the new model. I don’t believe–as other media prophets seem to–that there will be no more Big Media. Human history suggests that power tends to consolidate, break down and then consolidate again. I believe that the new consolidators of power will be organizations who can mix and match. It will be the people who can take the nichification that the web brings and use it to deepen rather than to flatten what we know. Read the rest of this entry »

Not-so-apocalyptic after all, or, I told you so

Posted: December 17th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Journalism | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I’ve been saying for ages that the future of media is in a rapprochement between the best and biggest old media companies and the best and leanest of the new media startups. Another example to add to my trend list: Reuters and Politico announced a content-sharing deal this week.

This is especially good news because Reuters is a wire. On the one hand, the wires are having a hard time rejigging their revenue structure for the digital world. On the other hand, because they already specialize in being fast and scrappy, and in putting out raw content for others to reuse, wires are already suited to the content of web-style reporting.

Instead of supplying newspapers–who need to move away from trying to break headlines that readers can get online on Reuters’ own site–Reuters can supply blogs. Blogs like Politico DO need to be fast news-breakers but since the best ones are specialized they need content outside their focus area that Reuters can provide. Meanwhile Reuters drives a new generation of readers to its site (so it can monetize its own content directly, instead of just through subscribers). And it gets to outsource some of its political reporting to Politico’s staff.

I wish I could say ‘I rest my case’ about this but I think ’09 will see even more of these partnerships. And shamelessly enough, I am compelled to toot my horn when I’m proven right.