Journalism is not stenography. It isn’t nice. It often isn’t comfortable. And sometimes it isn’t right.
But it is necessary
At Bloomberg, reporters could sit at their desks and use a keyboard function to see the last time an official of the Federal Reserve logged on. And the Justice Department obtained the records of The Associated Press from phone companies with no advance notice, giving it no chance to challenge the action. The absence of friction has led to a culture of transgression. Clearly, if it can be known, it will be known.
I’ll give you the most logical conclusion kids are ditching Facebook—one that none of the articles I read on the Great Teenage Facebook Exodus mentioned. And the evidence that supports the theory is right there in the Piper Jaffray survey. But first let’s define Facebook.
What is Facebook to most people over the age of 25? It’s a never-ending class reunion mixed with an eternal late-night dorm room gossip session mixed with a nightly check-in on what coworkers are doing after leaving the office. In other words, it’s a place where you go to keep tabs on your friends and acquaintances.
You know what kids call that? School.
…the top 20 companies in the United States ranked by market capitalization include no media companies. But according to figures assembled for The New York Times by Equilar, which compiles data on executive compensation, media companies employ seven of the top 20 highest paid chief executives.
Median pay for the top 20 media executives rose 10 percent in 2012, adding to a very tall stack. Not bad for a legacy industry that is supposedly under sustained attack from insurgents and secular challenges.
The Atlantic is using a company called NowThis News, and it’s a bunch of young kids and it’s real snappy and clever and fast-paced and quick. And it’s interesting. It’s along the lines of Huffington Post — very young. But you think about that for The New York Times, and that doesn’t feel right for us. We want to be quick and clever and interesting, but how do we do it in a way that leans into the web without being disrespectful to our audience?
I feel like my use of social media, it’s not completely consigned to Twitter, but I certainly use it more than any other social medium. But Twitter’s not the only way people are consuming information through social media, and I think that’s something worth reinforcing again and again. Reddit got a lot of attention for the Aurora shootings. I think social media is a good thing for journalists because I think it makes us all more aware, it’s just that simple. I think more information is better, and better than less, certainly. And I think it actually diversifies the streams of information. I think I am much more likely to learn about something through Twitter than I would through my conventional means of consumption. I’m going to be surprised, I am going to to read or be pointed to find out something I had not heard before.
The big unanswered question about Sullivan’s business model is how the economics are going to play out. He seems to have brought in about $100,000 today, from loyal readers — that’s about 4,000 subscribers off the bat. But that $100,000 is going to go fast. Sullivan is coming off a fat contract at NewsBeast, signed when Tina Brown was flush with lots of Barry Diller cash. He almost certainly couldn’t get her to agree to replicate that contract when it came up for renewal, so it’s hard to know how much money he’d receive if he stayed at the Beast. But my guess is that Sullivan wants the staff of seven, including two paid interns, to earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $750,000 a year between them, plus benefits. Add in what Sullivan lumps under “legal, technological and accounting expenses”, and you’re well into seven digits. So while today’s haul is impressive, Sullivan is going to have to keep those subscription revenues coming on a pretty steady basis, and he’s surely targeting a paying subscriber base of at least 50,000 — about 5% of what he calls his “unofficial staff of around a million unpaid obsessives”.
Chances are, a lot of compelling video will be shot on mobile phones and uploaded on sharing sites on the internet within minutes.
Chances are, the first report of a result out of a stadium won’t be Reuters, AP, or Afp. Chances are the first report of a result will be one of 1,572 (to pick a number at random) Twitterers sitting in the stadium banging the result out in a Tweet from their mobile phone.
And since tweets can aggregated and can be searched by keyword – who is the journalist? What is the media organisation? Who has control?
I’m willing to bet that 90% of the athletes participating all have Facebook pages and blogs and Twitter accounts and video-enabled mobiles themselves.
While I know you’ve tried to put some rules and structure around what athletes can and can’t do, frankly I think you’re whistling in the wind.
To say they can blog as long as it isn’t journalistic, misses the point.
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