The future of online publishing II

Don’t confuse the future of news with the future of newspapers
It’s not a foregone conclusion that newspapers will dominate online news, unless you believe that the future of online news will be repurposed from other media. There’s a reason that newspaper experiments with television and radio have failed and their web sites will fail — media don’t converge, they diverge.
Read “The Innovator’s Dilemma” again. The news of the future probably won’t be copyrighted by Belo or Gannett or Knight-Ridder — or Disney or Microsoft or AOL/TW for that matter. The cost structures and margins are so much lower in online publishing that newspapers are constitutionally incapable of adapting. Someone else will do it for them. Just because this didn’t happen in 1999, that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen.
What percentage of newspapers’ budgets are spent gathering and editing local news? When you subtract production, distribution, advertising sales, world/national news and feature syndication fees, and all the editing and overhead allocated to these functions, what share of a newspaper’s budget is spent on the one thing they do that no one else does better?
Now, give that budget to a much smaller company with no unions, no corporate parent/stockholders demanding a 25% profit margin, zero marginal costs, and a drive to deep link promiscuously.
Smells like the future of news to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.