What is News? And why does the Business Model need to change?

I was at Media in the Pub last night mainly because I was interested in the debate advertised, but also because I’m hitting up on this writing lark again. It was an interesting and interested crowd, and the Speakers didn’t repeat themselves (too much) during the presentations and following debate. Which I felt was one of the failures of the recent Media 140 conference.
Unfortunately, at the end of the debate I still had the ongoing feeling that no one is being very radical at all in their suggestions. More detail of what was suggested by the panelists can be found over here at Mumbrella (with some interesting comments to boot), and while some of them seem logical and some touching on the interesting, I was disappointed that nothing revolutionary came out.

So while we are waiting for the rad new thing to take over (and no it isn’t Microsoft paying News Limited to Index their sites and block Google), I have my own observations on the subject;

  • There needs to be an acceptance that ‘news’ and ‘journalism’ has pretty much always been funded by Advertising
  • Take the Times of London until 1966 as an example or indeed every newspaper up until the recent past filling their front pages with advertising (and see it return recently)
  • People and Businesses will always want to advertise their products and services
  • Those people who wish to advertise know that news or interesting content will always attract eyeballs
  • Give the Advertisers a reasonable number of return eyeballs and they will spend their money with you
  • At present ‘old’ media is losing those eyeballs, but online and other ‘new’ media has yet to prove it has the recurring eyeballs
  • And while they are doing that, newspapers and magazines can continue to overvalue the advertising space they offer
  • However a tipping point is approaching and I think as well as ‘Media Owners‘, most journos know this and rightly fear for their future in this ‘inbetween’ time

In summary, advertisers will still want to Advertise somewhere, news will still be created and reported on, all that is changing is the delivery vehicle. So does the Business Model REALLY need to change?


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