Wednesday, September 06, 2006

SPECIAL: "Winning Online" -- A Manifesto

A US based trade mag for the printing trade has published a manifesto for 'winning online'.
They represent the 'quality news'. These guys are being squeezed from two sides - free papers eating up the people who aren't that interested in the news and online competitors eating up the people who are interested in the news.
What can they do?
I think they are trying to preserve something that shouldn't be kept. There is no need for hundreds of different quality news outlets. The internet allows for readers to concentrate on only the articles they like.
News is threatened because in the online world, they only get money for content which people like. Impressions will only appear against good articles. Good journalists and good columnists will generate good money. Bad journalists and bad columnists will not generate money. More than that, the bad people will push people away from titles.
Once people start moving away from papers in huge numbers, we will see some of the titles surviving in an online incarnation. We will see some titles die though, which should be mourned. However they should not be protected - if a title has good editorial content, it will survive. If it doesn't it will perish and deservedly so.

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