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The coming bust-up of news outlets: reporters, editors, and distributors will be working for separate organizations 10/10/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in NewsOrgStructure.
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For over a century, most news organizations have been “vertically-integrated,” with reporters, editors, printers, route deliverers, and transmitters typically working for the same company. But, the Internet is completely transforming the economics of news. Now that news sources have direct access to news consumers, reporters are sounding more like repeaters. Their function will merge with PR firms, newsmakers, spokespeople, eyewitnesses, experts, or anyone else with an ax to grind. Editors will no longer be limited to their own staffs’ stories and will be forced to compete with those willing to blend fact with opinion, unconstrained by journalism’s objectivity dogma. Their function will merge with opinion writers and marketers as they work to build audiences that appeal to advertisers. The jobs of those who run the presses, transmit signals, or deliver newspapers will be eliminated when news converges onto the Internet. Their functions will be replaced by companies that are indifferent to the content, which will provide the software and system frameworks that facilitate the dissemination of news — think MySpace, Digg, YouTube, Google News, and Blogger.

Scott Karp explores today’s shifting debate over issues like “media consolidation” and the “scale” required to achieve online business success. But ultimately, these seemingly urgent, life-or-death debates will come to an abrupt end as the ultra low-cost, high fragmentation character of the Internet renders these issues meaningless. It is likely that, sooner-or-later, the free market will discover some benefits to consolidation on some basis of economies of scale or learning. But at this point, it is still not at all clear what the competitive benefits of larger, more consolidated news organizations might be.

Comments»

1. The coming bust-up of news outlets: reporters, editors, and … | Myspace World - 10/10/07

[…] Original post by Steve Boriss […]

2. Don - 10/10/07

reporters are sounding more like repeaters

Too many reporters sound like parrots to me.

3. Steve Boriss - 10/11/07

Don, Actually, it’s been this way for quite awhile — the Internet is just making us notice it. Everyone runs stories originated by or taken verbatim from the NY Times and the AP. Reporters run quotes from newsmakers and spokespeople. Local TV news stations run their networks’ stories. And everyone runs stories where PR firms have done much of the work.

4. newsroomnext » Blog Archive » 2 trends of the information jungle to terrify and inspire journalists - 10/14/07

[…] On the Web, a story is always evolving. It can be reported, edited and reassembled an infinite number of times as long as the work is of benefit to somebody. The labor will spread across organizations, individuals and time to whoever has the most interest, capability or availability. See “The coming bust-up of news outlets…” at The Future of News. […]


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