The Now/ledge

A Guide to the 'Now' Revolution in News / by Alan Soon

Imagine a world without newspapers


David Schneiderman, the ex-CEO of Village Voice Media, has a fantastic piece in TechFlash about the current ecosystem we live in, and in particular the all-too-familiar view of the world after newspapers.

His forecasts aren’t as interesting as his concise summary of the current state of play. Here are the main points:

  • Demand-driven journalism increasingly influences news judgments
  • Web journalism is fast becoming the dominant form of news media
  • Nothing is ever final online
  • The best and most influential reporters are becoming brand names.
  • The distinction between news and opinion will continue to erode
  • I find the first point especially interesting. You can’t deny the fact that web editors and producers are counting the clicks, comments and page views that you leave behind.

    This is worrying; in the last two years alone, there has a been a dramatic change in the way we write headlines (primarily to feed hungry search engines). There are more lists, more magazine-style coverlines. And all this at the expense of good, clear writing.

    The definition of “news judgement” has changed. It’s no longer about what people need to know (and what you, the editor, know), but what people will find “interesting” — the definition of which is vague, but ironically, measurable.

    I miss newspapers already.

    (Photo/Creative Commons: inju, Flickr)

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    Filed under: Newspapers, Publishing

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