Il lungo addio di Editor & Publisher

Molti giornali cartacei stanno chiudendo e da buoni cultori della rivoluzione digitale non abbiamo grossi rimpianti. Qualche lacrimuccia simbolica lo richiede la chiusura di Editor & Publisher per anni la vera Bibbia del settore dell’editoria. Un giornale serio, storico, ma che non si è mai tirato indietro rispetto all’innovazione. E che pare soccombere prina di molti altri giornali che si sono arroccati nella loro arretratezza. Ma per loro è solo questione di tempo. E&P quasi sicuramente avrà un futuro on-line dato che rappresenta ancora un punto di riferimento di tutto il mondo dell’editoria. Ma il numero datato gennaio 2010 sarà quasi certamente l’ultimo su supporto di derivati della cellulosa.

Gli aggiornamenti della redazione

Yesterday, at 2 p.m., we shipped the possibly final issue of Editor & Publisher from our office here at Astor Place in New York City.  For the record, it is the January 2010 issue, so we made it into our 126th year, at least. But hope remains that we will continue.

As many know, we got our inexplicable closing notice from The Nielsen Co. on December 10, which was met by outrage, thousands of supportive messages and even an unlikely place on the Twitter trending list.

Staffers decided to stay on to finish that issue and keep our Web site going — Steve Outing’s latest column just went up — until the end of the year in hopes of encouraging outside help and bids for a takeover.

Indeed, there has been a lot of interest but no firm news to report as yet. We are scheduled to vacate our offices by the end of Thursday, though, of course, E&P could always be brought back a bit later, or online only. We hope to have something positive to report by Thursday. Evacuating the office does not mean that we will not re-assemble shortly. This web site will not be taken down.

Lo staff migra su Twitter

Several weeks ago, E&P Editor Greg Mitchell started tweeting and now has well over 5000 Twitter followers. He was just named one of the top journalists on Twitter by new media guru Jay Rosen, and as a leading “big media” journalist who “gets” social media by Mashable. Senior Editors Joe Strupp and Jennifer Saba are also tweeting.

From all you can get hot scoops before they appear on our site and commentary and links you won’t find anyplace else.

So follow them, almost anywhere.
E&P main.

In addition, Editor Greg Mitchell’s personal blog, Pressing Issues, focuses on media issues:

Steve Outing
scrive il suo ultimo Stop the presses

In fact, in the mid-1990s I really expected that by 2009 there to be a lot less “paper” moving around. I hoped that would be the case, actually, since the trees felled and all the trucks spewing pollution throughout the process of getting newspapers onto millions of home driveways each day has long struck me as environmentally damaging and ultimately unsustainable.

Back then, had you asked me to project 15 years ahead, I would have suggested that newspaper print editions would get overtaken in usage by online and digital replacements, and that primarily the older generations would still be reading on paper.

What’s next
Since the newspaper industry in general took the wrong path, let’s get back to reality. Here’s what we’re likely to see in the next few years as a result of how newspaper leaders chose to respond to disruptive technology.

1. Small-town independent newspapers don’t grow much, but they are able to continue with healthy print circulation for several more years. But eventually, they start hurting more, like their metro cousins, as local advertisers shift more and more money to cheaper, more effective digital advertising opportunities.

2. Urban metro papers continue to shrink. More papers stop publishing in print on some days of the week; others go to Sunday-only for print and online/mobile for the rest of week; and a few go entirely digital. Unfortunately, we see some more newspapers die.

3. The wave of small news start-ups — non-profits, hyper-local for- and non-profits, placebloggers who’ve figured out how to make a living, combo professional- and citizen-reporting digital news services, university-affiliated news entities, etc. — that we see emerging today grows rapidly. Journalists laid off or bought out by newspapers start many of these services, aided by new companies that help them on the advertising, business and technology sides (e.g., GrowthSpur ), and new local digital ad networks serving all local media, new and old.

4. Some of these small entities partner with local newspapers, gaining for themselves revenue to support their mission, while giving the newspapers quality content much cheaper than the papers could produce it themselves. This is especially the case with costly and time-intensive investigative journalism, where local non-profit public-interest news sites (a la VoiceofSanDiego ) partially support themselves with money from “old media.”

5. News aggregators (Google News, et al) and personal digital agents (e.g., Circulate, but more likely to come from the likes of Google or Facebook) become the norm for consumers getting their customized news streams on their computers, mobile phones, e-readers, and other devices. As a result, newspaper Web sites become less important. Newspaper publishers and editors learn, in order to survive, how to get their content into all the appropriate streams. And they develop ways to monetize content as it flees the home pond (Web site) for the many new streams (aggregators, agents, social news streams, etc.). Those that don’t, die.

6. The saber-rattling over pay walls at newspaper Web sites will die down as Google, which many newspaper executives seem to perceive as the No. 1 cause of their woes, accommodates their concerns and introduces more technology that helps news producers turn digital dimes into quarters (or more). Paid content by newspapers is supported by new systems, but it’s a small amount of the content they produce.

7. Newspaper companies that do survive and prosper do so by devoting significant resources (at executive and technical levels) to mobile as the next platform of opportunity. They don’t repeat the mistakes of a decade earlier made with the Web, but instead raise mobile to a top priority.

8. Newspapers that do well adapt quickly to the instant nature of crowd-sourced news (e.g., aggregating and filtering eyewitness reports from Twitter), rather than fight it.

9. Some newspaper companies survive the journey across the chasm between the old print-centric model and a new digital model. These are most likely the companies whose board of directors install new leadership not chained to the success of past business models. Among the survivors, we’re more likely to see repeats of National Public Radio’s digital transition, where a new CEO (Vivian Schiller) was hired because of her digital experience, mindset and vision, even though she had less of that for radio.

10. I continue to write about the future of news on my personal blog, but don’t emphasize newspapers so much.

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