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A Model for Better, More Competitive Newspapers

Posted by on 2009/05/22

A comment I left on Bob Cringely’s WAAS Up article:

Whenever I’ve been interviewed for a newspaper, words and facts have been twisted and/or just gotten wrong. Whenever I read a popular press article in an area where I have in-depth knowledge, it’s wrong, at least in the details.

So, I just assume that’s true all the time and go to specialists for real news reporting. I haven’t checked, but I’d assume a place like Jane’s would have a good article on this GPS thing.

How about this business model: be a journalist who’s a bona-fide expert on GPS. Write completely accurate, insightful, and helpful news articles on GPS happenings. Charge alot for them.

The last part is the trick of course. But how many GPS journalists does the world need? No more than a handful. With the Internet it should be possible to greatly reduce the number of generalist journalists and start making ‘newspapers’ much better with experts. There’s probably too much inertia at established papers but a disruptive model seems possible.

It’s not ‘mere blog aggregation’ because most bloggers aren’t writing in the form or quality required, but some scheme with writers, aggregators, and integrators could get it done. I don’t see the value in local newspapers doing anything but inserting their local stories into layout and selling ads these days – find an integrator that matches your editorial values and outsource it.

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