Inventing the Newspaper Remix

Another newspaper bites the dust this week, but they're not going out like Rocky Mountain News.

From Seattle Times:

Hearst Corp. says it is encouraged by the Web traffic it got on the first day the Seattle Post-Intelligencer went online-only.

Hearst spokesman Paul Luthringer says Wednesday's seattlepi.com got about 1.9 million page views, according to data provided it by Omniture.

The site averaged nearly 1.7 million daily page views in January.

The P-I, Seattle's oldest daily newspaper, published its last edition on Tuesday, let go most of its staff this week and converted to an all-digital news outlet.

But journalism's "old guard" continues to hold onto the past.

From New York Times:

...When we go online, each of us is our own editor, our own gatekeeper. We select the kind of news and opinions that we care most about.

Nicholas Negroponte of M.I.T. has called this emerging news product The Daily Me. And if that’s the trend, God save us from ourselves.

That’s because there’s pretty good evidence that we generally don’t truly want good information — but rather information that confirms our prejudices. We may believe intellectually in the clash of opinions, but in practice we like to embed ourselves in the reassuring womb of an echo chamber....

Not true Mr Kristoff. New media has presented an opportunity for Internet users to HAVE diversity in perspectives and information...I will let Michael Miner break it down.

...Does he think this is something new? Daily journalism has always been about the Daily Me. Back in the heyday -- when hawkers waved the mastheads of as many as a dozen titles -- readers traded their pennies for the ones that reflected the world the way each of them wanted it reflected. And when they cracked open their papers and plunged in, did they read everything? Of course not. They turned to the sections, the features, the bylines they knew they could count on. If it was a snappy, counterintuitive, iconoclastic argument they were looking for -- well, the place to find that was the comics page...

Look, why bother to argue this anymore. Here is what I think newspapers need to start doing.

Print journalists need to literally sit down at the table with business leaders and tech innovators and come up with a new business model for things formerly known as newspapers. They need to come up with the "remix" - an online entity that provides news and information, just like the Seattle P-I and Christian Science Monitor have done.

Just because the news is online instead of in print doesn't mean the quality of journalism goes down. In reality, if journalists use the same professional technics for gathering news, they can put out the same quality of information in a virtual newspaper. In fact, the quality of information would actually be enhanced when you add in the use of audio and video to go alongside text.

Of course, the elephant in the room is how to make money off the remix. I don't have the answer yet, but I will get back to you after I meet with MBA best friend and her tech geek boyfriend!


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