12 December 2005

Print Newspapers: "21st Century Equivalent of Running a Record Company Specializing in Vinyl"

That's the word from Andrew Gowers, the recently departed editor of The Financial Times (see AdAge). But the digital editions alone don't make enough money yet to support the current news-gathering infrastructure at conventional newspapers, so the worry -- at least according to the journalists who write about the situation for their conventional newspapers -- is that quality, hard-hitting journalism is headed for extinction.

Advertising Age executive editor Johan Bloom, however, includes the perspective of Rafat Ali, a veteran of both print and online publications, who points out that while the organizational structure at conventional newspapers won't survive the Internet, quality news journalism certainly will:

"The answer more likely lies in a wholesale shift in the journalism model and mind-set. Rafat Ali, who runs -- a site devoted to new media models -- is an advocate of this Journalism 2.0. In the world he describes, editors would stop wasting resources by ordering reporters to re-create existing stories, instead accepting that part of the role of their news sites is to aggregate the most relevant content regardless of its origins. That would free up time for news reporters to dig up genuinely original stories -- aka, er, news! Pay structures and cultures would encourage journalists to be more entrepreneurial."


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