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I basically agree with much of the analysis here: https://stratechery.com/2015/buzzfeed-important-news-organization-world/

 

Except that I don't think Buzzfeed can keep doing serious reporting, and will degenerate back to spamming everyone with clickbait hyperstimuli to sell their native ads - and if they don't, then someone else will outcompete them.

 

#smod2016

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I basically agree with much of the analysis here: https://stratechery.com/2015/buzzfeed-important-news-organization-world/

 

 

 

I only got about half-way through, and of course, I don't read this stuff very carefully -- but he seems to change his assumptions. He starts by recognizing that jounalists (news journalists, at least), care about something other than making money. And, he claims, they had the luxury of doing so due to the natural "monopoly" of news print -- high costs of entry, easily leveraged advertising base. Therefore, newspaper journalists covered and printed the stories they believed should be printed. But later, when he critiques Baquet's decision to retire the front page pitch, he notes that the Internet has dismantled the "core assumptions underlying actual journalism," namely, that there is no longer any barrier to entry. There is unlimited space for printing "news" on the Internet and new ways to reach eyeballs.

 

But these issues are underlying the business of journalism. Not the core assumptions journalism. As a journalist, Baquet still wants to cover and present stories that are "fit to print" -- choosing the meaningful stories, cultivating bureaus, separating editorial/business functions He's not just interested in driving traffic. He's trying to maintain some journalistic standards in the world of buzzfeed, anonymous bloggers, Facebook, etc.

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I only got about half-way through, and of course, I don't read this stuff very carefully -- but he seems to change his assumptions. He . . . critiques Baquet's decision to retire the front page pitch, he notes that the Internet has dismantled the "core assumptions underlying actual journalism," namely, that there is no longer any barrier to entry. There is unlimited space for printing "news" on the Internet and new ways to reach eyeballs.

 

And of course, this is totally incorrect. It may be true that most NYT readers no longer buy a physical paper. But if you visit nytimes.com, only a few stories can be at the top of the masthead. It is still coveted real estate.

 

I subscribe to a Times feed on my smartphone, which "pushes" a notification when an important story is published. If that occurred more than a few times a day—or if the stories they picked weren't important enough—I would get annoyed and shut it off. So it still requires an intelligent "selection," as it always did, or it loses all of its value.

 

It's true that modern technology allowed EVGrieve to exist at practically zero cost. But there's still competition to be relevant. Just because you can publish for free, does not mean anyone will read it.

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And of course, this is totally incorrect. It may be true that most NYT readers no longer buy a physical paper. But if you visit nytimes.com, only a few stories can be at the top of the masthead. It is still coveted real estate.

I'm the only person I know who still visits nytimes.com. People don't get their news that way any more. Most of my news hits come via social/aggregators/&c, not via NYT front page.

 

OTOH, The Times's days are probably numbered.

 

The difference between taion and me is that I think that's tragic and he seems to think it's great.

If I wasn't being clear, I think it was a massive tragedy, but by now the Times has already been reduced to a mostly obsolete relic of limited relevance. There are people that are optimistic that novel business models like Buzzfeed can produce adequate replacements. I am definitely not one of those people.

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And of course, this is totally incorrect. It may be true that most NYT readers no longer buy a physical paper. But if you visit nytimes.com, only a few stories can be at the top of the masthead. It is still coveted real estate.

I'm the only person I know who still visits nytimes.com. People don't get their news that way any more. Most of my news hits come via social/aggregators/&c, not via NYT front page.

 

Now you know two, because I visit it regularly. I use the aggregators also, but guess what: nytimes.com gets "aggregated" more than some guy's blog. It actually still DOES matter to be the Times.

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It matters to be in the Times. It matters less to be on the front page. The majority of the pieces I read in the Times are via Twitter. As argued, the scarcity that applies to the front page does not apply to their umbrella as a whole.

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Pedantry mandates me to mention that the masthead isn't the front page.

 

The future of journalism is a subject of considerable interest, but I admit I'm unpersuaded that news from anonymous and largely unedited online resources is likely to be more reliable than news underwritten by a byline and publicly checked and verified.

 

However it's funded.

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And of course, this is totally incorrect. It may be true that most NYT readers no longer buy a physical paper. But if you visit nytimes.com, only a few stories can be at the top of the masthead. It is still coveted real estate.

I'm the only person I know who still visits nytimes.com. People don't get their news that way any more. Most of my news hits come via social/aggregators/&c, not via NYT front page.
Now you know two, because I visit it regularly. I use the aggregators also, but guess what: nytimes.com gets "aggregated" more than some guy's blog. It actually still DOES matter to be the Times.
3 (&4 - Ginny). We also get the paper delivered daily. Ginny reads it that way & I read more of it on the Internet as nytimes.com.
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Discussing the future of newspapers seems anachronistic even by MFF's usual 10-year-lag standard.

 

More interesting to discuss what's happening to concepts like "news" or "fact checking".

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Discussing the future of newspapers seems anachronistic even by MFF's usual 10-year-lag standard.

 

More interesting to discuss what's happening to concepts like "news" or "fact checking".

Agreed.

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Crowd sourced news. Citizen journalism. Native advertising. Distributed content. In no particular order: topics worth discussing.

 

But trumping all those, Facebook's reinvention as a publisher which can run all its ad tech inhouse (Google limping behind).

 

But like I said, needs its own thread.

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