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Friday, May 15, 2009

where the wild things are trailer

The Internet is Killing America's Free Press

Really good debate by Jerry Bowles to get going. Andrew Keen touched on some of these points at Next09 in Hamburg. I really fear for the loss of quality in depth reporting. I think there are a few models that could work but the US may need to change it's mind set around only free market only funded news.

I believe we need 3 models for a free press.
1. State funded news. Here in the UK we have the BBC one of the most respected news sources in the world. There is a debate right now that some of our tax payers license fee should go towards supporting other local, regional and national news away from the BBC. I think this could be a good thing as long as it is monitored and audited away from state control as the BBC is. This keeps the BBC impartial, non-political and non-commercial.

2. Ad funded free market press. We have both right and left leaning press here and its a good thing it challenges the BBC and each other so we have a good healthy 3 points of debate going on constantly. These guys are struggling to find new ad models but they will get there. I would be looking at a syndication model across all news websites, pay as you go model like News Corp are thinking about but across all titles. Similar to my twitter feed set up of, WSJ, FT, BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, NY Times, Fox, Aljazera, Rueters, Times and the Economist.

3. Social Media - Letting people have their say is a good thing, it builds traffic and healthy debate like this one we are having now to discuss fact, fiction and the in between. I don't see social press as being a replacement for professional journalism it's un-checked, under-funded and to subjective. All the ref of stories built from social media always lead to the mob angry or sensational tabloid headlines, swine flu (turned out to not be a pandemic) landing on hudson river (it's a miracle) but as Bowles points out indepth dangerous reporting that takes money and a crack team to report on. This un covering the truth and not making more noise is what professional journalism is about. I think social media has a role to play in the debate, traffic and adding more insight (Mubai twitters good example) to the stories but as the Telegraph here in the UK has proved with the bomb shell of MPs expenses, good solid investigation and reporting drives readership and truth.

This is a great debate I hope it will continue.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quality costs, it's as simple as that

Telegraph: Shane Richmond at May 13, 2009 sparks another debate on paid for news.

I think this is a huge issue that needs to be debated and quickly. Newspapers are struggling to find a viable business model online and it should concern us all. With out quality professional journalism our democracy will fail. bloggers and amateur journalists are not an answer to the well funded and resource strong news papers.

Reading news online is very different to paper format. users have a fragmented approach to their content. One minute they could be on The Economist website, then off to Telegraph, Guardian, WSJ, Washington Post, NY Times and so on Regular subs for one paper doesn't work as who wants their online news from one source.

A good model to look at would be a portfolio subscription model. So the more you consume the more you pay. Some users dip into a few articles a day and others read lots. The subscription could work against link models and a reimbursement model for each paper.

I do think that some of our license fee should go towards funding journalism and local news and not just to the BBC. This should be monitored and controlled by an independent press authority away from the BBC, government and media companies influence.

Like the credit crunch we now have to pay for the free content binge we have all taken for granted. I always hear people saying good riddance to old media, well be careful what you wish for as new media is uncontrolled, under funded and a poor substitute for professional journalism.

Andrew Keen's key note speech at Next09 Hamburg

Sorry no embeddable video so click on this link

Saturday, May 02, 2009

haus der kunst

richter videos from NP Exhibition

Richter's portraits at the National Gallery is excellent. The wet into wet technique is by far the best I have ever seen in the world. As he has got older the painting has become more and more refined. It almost has a water colour consistency to the surface.

Currently also abstracts are a refreshing alternative top this on in Munich.