Remember the scene in Blazing Saddles once the sheriff installed a toll booth in the midst of the prairie, and all the criminals lined through to horseback to pitch a cent in the turnstile as opposed to ride around the gate? Classic 1974 Mel Brooks; revisited with a perspective of 2009 irony. Following the U.C. Berkeley Media Technology Summit held at Google last week, it appears that some strong voices have moved discussions from paid content. ‘Sell News Online’ won’t pass the smell test for 95% of news sites because shhhh…. online news is free.
The turnstile gate is up: readers can undergo it, around it, over it, and get their news however, whenever, wherever they desire. Consumers are in control, advertisers have voted to invest their dollars elsewhere and media companies perhaps, might be starting to talk about opportunities that scale. However the question remains, will investigative journalism survive the slow, painful transition of the media industry?
Not-for-profit business models like ProPublica are cropping around support investigative journalism.
John Temple’s compelling presentation on lessons learned from the Rocky Mountain News included comments that online news needs “more ways for local businesses to reach prospects locally.
Advertisers weren’t represented. I didn’t see Associations from Restaurants, Car Companies, Auto Dealers, Convention Centers and certainly small businesses weren’t providing input.
It is interesting that the bread and butter of the media industry, advertisers, continue to be not asked what they think and how online news may Naira play a role in the advertisers’ future. Perhaps since paid content is on the trunk burner, (I will make the broad assumption that advertisers weren’t asked about paid content as a business model either), perhaps journalists may do what journalists do: research, investigate and report. There are lots of niches, industries and geographies that will provide data and perspective, if analyzed. If media firms had reached out and called for feedback as early as 2006 when advertisers began to leave newspapers, they might be presenting a different history today.
Janet Smith is a Strategist, Marketer, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” kinda gal… (quote from Milton Berle) Marketing is all about generating repeat business with advantageous partnerships and effective communications. With 20+ years experience writing business plans and marketing strategies, [http://www.janetsmith5d.com/], Janet seeks a Director of Marketing position with a company that desires to break from the pack. An inventor, Janet owns a patent-pending business method for the media industry.