Tag Archives: Future of News

Bezos Buys the Post–the Amazoning of News?

Lots of folks are weighing in on Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s founder and 25Bn rich guy) buying the Washington Post. I’m reading the comments on the Washington Post feed–fascinating.

There seems to a sense of dawning of a new day of journalism in a lot of the comments. Almost a sense of relief that maybe there is hope for journalism yet. That if anyone can see how to make journalism work in a time of social network, crowd-sourced news and nano news, it is someone like Jeff Bezos.

I like this comment from Matthew Ingram of GigaOm: “The next few years could be a fascinating time to be in the newspaper business, if only to watch someone like Bezos remake it from the inside out.”

And of course there are the skeptics who ask what any tech guy, no matter how smart, might know about real journalism.

If it indeed does happen as many expect that Bezos will take a creative new approach emphasizing high volume, low margins, attracting lots of customers without as much regard for margin as typical (he more or less invented the attract a crowd and figure out how to get them to pay later model), if indeed he Amazonizes the Post and from that the news business, then this day will be seen as momentous in journalism history. I somewhat suspect he will. But, my guess, unlike many of those so dedicated to “journalism” as in “traditional journalism done only by professionals” is that he will find a way to harness the power of crowd sourcing. No doubt there will continue to be those who can make a living providing other people the information they are looking for. Some may even be considered and called journalists. But the future of news is harnessing and leveraging the vast information sharing that is going on right now and that will only continue.

How Bezos will make that a profitable venture in the very heart of traditional journalism will be fascinating to watch. Over course, I could be completely wrong. Maybe he’s tired of revolutionizing the world. Maybe he just thought: Hmmm, I got an extra $250 million burning a hole in my pocket. Should I buy a sports team like my buddy Howard Shulz–hmm, that didn’t turn out so well. How about a newspaper? Yeah! In Washington DC! Yeah!

What is the future of news? Media “mavens” tell the future

Business Insider talked to a group of media “mavens” about the future of news. I think the selection of who is an “expert” today is interesting of itself, and a related story about the top ten brands to be big in the future gives even greater insight into Business Insider’s perspective.

Prognostications on the future of news are very interesting because the opinions vary so much. We are obviously in a time of great ferment and change and those who have much at stake in this game tend to see things going their way. For example, Steve Fowle, publisher of a local news tabloid sees a big future in web offset printing (different kind of web).

I also found it absolutely fascinating that Janis Krums is one of the media “mavens” interviewed. Janis Krums, you may recall, was the Florida tourist who happened to be on a ferry in the Hudson River when Flight 1549 crashed in front of him. He snapped a twitpic and made a quick tweet which became the tweet that woke up the media to the value of Twitter as a police scanner of global proportions. Now he is a new media consultant. Ah, the power of the new media to create instant brands and instant experts!

I found the comments of Mark Cuban and Jason McCabe Calacanis most intriguing and in my mind, most on target (shows my perspective). Cuban said,

“I think the future of news is the branded curation of news.

We currently tend to follow big branded entities and aggregators, the NY Times, Huffington Post, Fox News or MSNBC, etc. I think big brands will continue to do fine. However I think the fastest growing segment of the news business will be individuals who create a brand around their name and a niche about which people trust them to educate or entertainment them. John Doe on the best salads in NY. Sally Doe on the local school board. As these niche news individuals gain any momentum or scale, they will be bought or licensed by the big news groups and integrated into bigger sites.”

And Calacanis, a serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley said:

“The Future of News is video from experts. The age of journalists–and simple “writers”–having exclusive control of the news flow has ended. Vertical experts are now either going direct to consumers or being syndicated in online properties. Text-based content is moving to video due to internet-enabled TVs, iPads and user preference. The difference between an expert on video and a journalist in video is stunning. Journalists can look very uninformed when speaking on video, but experts shine when speaking off the cuff–for obvious reasons.”

Branded curation of news and the shift to self-broadcasting using video. If this is right, public relations experts and crisis communicators need take note.