Posted by: William Perrin | November 6, 2008

Traditional press, new business models and processes

Two good posts emerged recently from commentators on the traditional press and new media on new business processes and models.  Rather than those inherited from the industrial publishing process.

Jo Geary in Birmingham writes about the thorny subject of whether you need to be a journalist to write publicly about stuff that is happening in your patch:

‘The world does not need journalists to communicate the vast majority of information that is defined as news.’

‘Most of the news that comes out of media organisations on a daily basis is information that others either WANT people to know or HAVE to admit to. It is just re-written or re-presented in a format that fits that platform.’

“So, instead of journos, the world needs the generators of this information to communicate it better and to allow for redress to what they say.”

Jeff Jarvies in New York writes about an exercise he ran at a conference to scale a news organisation purely for the web, without the hangover of industrial era production systems:

‘So I proposed a problem to solve: What if a city, say Philadelphia, loses its paper tomorrow. What would you build in its place to serve the community? The group went to town. Rather than trying to hack at the old, they build something new.’

‘They calculated the likely revenue Philadelphia could support online and then figured out what they could afford in staffing. Instead of the 200-300-person newsroom that has existed in print, they decided they could afford 35 and they broke that down to include a new job description: “community managers who do outreach, mediation, social media evangelism.” They settled on three of those plus 20 content creators, two programmers, three designers, five producers (I think they were a bit heavy on those two), and — get this — only three editors. ‘

These are the realities for people who publish volunteer community sites, but it’s nice to see some wider recognition.

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