is dead, long live .com – The Guardian

Whilst this could be construed as a vote of no-confidence in the domain, I don’t think it is. It’s more, as Tanya Cordrey mentions in her blog post, a move towards a more international set-up.

“… this move reflects our evolution from a national print newspaper based only in the UK – reaching hundreds of thousands of people once a day – to a leading global news and media brand with an ever-growing worldwide audience of tens of millions accessing Guardian journalism every minute of every day.”

The post goes on to discuss recent scoops and triumphs concerning specifically American news. Given that the Guardian is not yet behind a paywall whereas US ‘industry titans’ like the WSJ and The New York Times are, this does seem like a transparent power play for market share. I cannot blame the Guardian for doing this however it does seem like a loss leader, or rather, not the general direction of travel for the industry. How can this be sustainable for them? Their writers and editors need to eat too.

It reminds me of advice I was given when I first graduated some time ago, namely, it’s fine to work for free to get a start, but ultimately, my skills and abilities are worth something and therefore to continue to work for free is detrimental. The Guardian may make short term gains now but when the playing field is level, that is, when they do start charging for content, I wonder how loyal their readers will be?

On the other side of this, The Guardian is a damn good publication and I’m pleased it might now reach a wider audience, perhaps one day papers will not be limited by country or language?

In terms of the publishing industry, wouldn’t it be cool if someone formed a digital subscription model based on a variety of papers? Allowing users 10 (say) per day/week/month based on their news consumption and publication preferences. The news buffet!

Two articles from The Guardian, a few from the FT (it covers international news very well!), some more from The New York Times and maybe a few more magazine-y publications too, like The Atlantic and The New Statesmen. Wouldn’t that make for a rich,  varying tapestry of news and culture? Something to delight the senses and inform the mind?

Thoughtful article about Reddit and Twitter’s role in a smear campaign.

Absurdly interesting, yet thoroughly sad article, detailing the problems of restraint (or lack thereof) of “citizen journalism” published in today’s New York Times magazine. It may well be behind the pay wall but it’s well worth a read.

In short, it calls into question the role of “new media” in breaking news via tweets and posts and that of “old media” using these unverified tweets and posts in a bid to get the scoop. I won’t undermine the piece by trying to summarise it here, it wouldn’t do it justice.

It does support my theory that the role of editors will take on new importance as more of us incorporate the pace and efficiency of digital news into our news-gathering habits. Right now, the news industry is still transitioning from the old model (often called Fortress Journalism) to the new, where anyone with a smart phone can express an opinion and, with canny timing, get that opinion our there. It does make me hopeful that Google’s Author Rank might contribute towards a solution, by rewarding more established subject experts with better representation in the search results and, hopefully, pushing those less-established sources further down the page into obscurity.

That, or will ‘we’, all of us, soon evolve to dismiss the breaking news stories on sites like Twitter and Reddit?

Future of News: even more interesting than I had thought.

A short post I wrote for the work blog, concerning the Future of News and possible wider implications for general content production has got me thinking and hitting The Google.

There’s a public television show dedicated to it, I found it via (catchy name!) and whilst the format is that of a curiously old-school magazine TV show, the pundits and themes are spot on. There is an emphasis on TV news but this is set against the rise of digital media so it should be revealing.

The preview video isn’t embeddable (come on!) but you can find it here. La Mayer is featured, alongside a few industry veterans so my expectations for non-fluffy, thoughtful discussions are high.

My next few blog posts will be about the ideas discussed in the show and any subsequent debate.



my thoughts on the internet, media and other mysteries