The Digital Times ; the next paper ?

Published on by The Inquirer

It's perfect time, the newspaper industry is in real trouble - a bunch are up for sale or miring chap 11 (bankruptcy). While Wall Street is remotely eyeing Washington for a cash deal, the medias business’ catastrophe is alone with nothing left except creative minds figuring out how they can reinvent themselves and dump some juicy news contents wherever, whenever we want.

In case you missed the train, we are in the midst of real revolutionary times, a lot of things -Wall street's financial "Coup d'Etat ", Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan- are happening around the world, which itself have been unthinkable one or two years ago. The ad revenues have fallen off the cliff, as readers and advertisers moved to the internet. The Newspaper’s industry couldn’t agree more on its great transition and  loss.

Faced with what strike us today as such technology savvy readers, we’re forced to recon structure the way we produce news. Fitch ratings Service, which monitors the health of media companies predicted a widespread newspapers die-off by in maximum 2010.Fitch believes more newspapers will default, be shut down and be liquidated in 2009, 2010.The NYT in October 2008, released dits earning reports indicating that unless drastic measures have been taken over the next five months, the paper will default 400 millions in debt added with the more than 1 million already on the book.

The nowadays American dream of any media’s ceo is best single encapsulated by a charter flight to world scale news. Meaning less buying a one way ticket to Online -wonderland than unheedlesly providing an healthy dose of news aggregation mixed with original reporting stories.

Pulitzer –Prize Pundits aspirant could use their considerable savvy to mix their own reporting with that of others, simultaneously giving us a more integrative content and nurturing their inner self.

A tremendously change in technology eyed shiny toys within the media landscape, the so called « digital reporters », cheaper and faster, enable editing  content over a computer  in any place around the globe.No choice left than focusing ressources in the highest impact area, breaking the news with   reporting stories when it’s matter and really make “The Difference”.

Alike Rolling Stones Magazine breaking the news with an original reporting story helping  the average American to understand how Wall Street ‘s universe masters rolled around the globe a financial mess.

For Newspapers, online services haven’t attracted the advertising that print editions enjoyed, they probably never will.Recently, in a Las Vegas broadcasters’ gathering, the Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch urged the media industry men to stop giving away for free its content. A piece of advise which with immediacy, ripped form head –to -toe onto WSJ’s publisher who called “ Tapeworm”, Newser – a news aggregator website. Newser and other news aggregators are “parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the Internet," he told The Australian newspaper. What Thomson means, of course, is that Newser and its fellow Internet news aggregators are eating the Journal’s lunch, so far 1 million online subscribers.Print being the cash cow for advertising revenues, and Common estimates suggesting that a web-driven product could only support 20 percent of staff , one might concurs : « How the online staff include investigative reporting teams  as online revenue  supports only 20 percent  costs » ?May be teaming up with Hollywood’s documentaries moguls could considerably reduce the costs, as we’re used to witness more investigative reporting being shoved on into cinema.

An IBM study made public in march 2009 reveals a «  growing rift »between advertisers, consumers and content owners, as media companies «  struggle to keep pace with news demands from tech-savvy viewers and marketers.
Saul Berman, IBM’s global leader for strategy and change consulting services and co-author of the new study, concurs  :  «  To succeed- especially in the current economic environment-media companies will need to develop a news set of capabilities to support the industry’s evolving demands which include micro targeting, real-time ROI measurements and cross-platform integration. »

Mobile internet data plans nearly tripled between to 41 percent from 15 percent, we couldn’t agree more with his study which itself shows that consumers are willing to trade knowledge about their usage and preferences for content and associated targeted marketing offers.

In other words, a cash cow would born out if a media company excels in permission-based advertising for its content.

Mario Garcia, The newspaper's design goddess predicts also that soon, a full media's cadaver list as the market's death kiss already brought out of whack The Rocky Mountain, The Seattle's Sentinel and the San Francisco Chronicles will appear. A journalist by training, Mario has designed or redesigned over 547 newspapers during the past 40 years.

He doesn’t only know how to stay fresh and edgy but also gives the most demanded tip in the   media   business: staying healthy. In theses fantastic times for medias entrepreneurs, he urges us to rethink the way we operate and embrace news technologies.

Being almost impossible to beat the internet in term of immediacy,  operating online from Monday to Friday, reserving the week-end for a print edition is the the only rescue plan left.

His words seems to have already resonated in the live-brand-from-the –upper-west-side : « The NYT » which  has launched two major product innovations for its worldwide audience of digital and newspaper readers. A new online Global Edition at combines the international voice of the IHT with the worldwide breadth of reporting of The Times and the digital expertise of Simultaneously, the IHT unveiled a fresh new look for its newspaper.

Given that there already over 2.7 billion mobile users around the world media company, this is a crucial time to start considering a media mobile strategy and how content can be delivered for this new medium, providing users with information that makes sense to them while on the go.

Aside from the inimitable design sense, there’s something else we can learn from Nothern Countries  :Profitablity. They focused on content, better design, info-graphic journalism, online offerings. Banded together, they all agreed to charge the consumer on a minimum which gave birth  a market bubble.

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