posts about or somewhat related to ‘PEW’
When the Pew Research Center released its 2012 State of the News Media report the other day, one of its findings was that tech companies — rather than news organizations — were benefitting most from online and mobile advertising.
We identified this as a new type of digital divide with news organizations becoming increasingly reliant on the Googles, Apples, Twitters and Facebooks of the world.
Writing at the Online Journalism Review, Robert Niles inverts the concern and believes that this economic and power shift liberates the journalists who actually report the news:
I’ve never believed that newspaper companies are the originators of journalism. To me, the true originators of journalism are reporters and sources. Newspapers were yesterday’s middlemen, bringing together reporters, an audience, and the advertisers who were willing to pay to reach the audience that journalists’ reports would attract. Sure, newspaper companies played a vital role, but calling them the originators of content is akin to giving credit to an talent agent for an actor’s performance.
Today, tech companies have disrupted these arrangements. As a journalist, I can use Google’s Blogger to create my own publication and Google’s AdSense will pay me for the advertising revenue that my work attracts. And let’s not forget those downloads from Amazon and Apple, either, which provide an even more direct route for today’s writers to earn income from an audience. I don’t need a job with a newspaper a make living as a journalist now. Tech companies have become the new middlemen, through which sources and writers can reach an audience and customers, instead of having to rely on newspaper and broadcast companies to make that match, as they did so often in the past.
In this view, Pew’s report is not a depiction of a news industry losing control of its revenue future to the tech industry. It is instead a map of how tech companies are disrupting publishing monopolies, creating new avenues for journalists to travel in their careers.
Some of these new avenues are yet uncharted. Others won’t lead to any reasonable income. Others still will turn out to offer immense profit. All my work writing over the past few years on OJR about entrepreneurial journalism has been to help you find the best new avenue for you. But just because newspaper companies are getting squeezed doesn’t mean that you have to lose your future in the journalism business.
While I wouldn’t recommend anyone quit their day job for potential AdSense riches, I think Niles’ overall point is important to remember. Yes, I’d like to see legacy organizations with their histories and infrastructure for supporting great journalism survive. But more important I want to see great journalism itself survive.
I’m not convinced that the two are necessarily related.
Robert Niles, OJR. Turn news industry disruptions to your advantage.
While not what we traditionally think of when we think digital divides, the Pew Research Center’s 2012 State of the Media report notes a growing gap between news organizations and technology companies, with news organizations becoming increasingly reliant on them:
At the same time, a more fundamental challenge that we identified in this report last year has intensified — the extent to which technology intermediaries now control the future of news.
Two trends in the last year overlap and reinforce the sense that the gap between the news and technology industries is widening. First, the explosion of new mobile platforms and social media channels represents another layer of technology with which news organizations must keep pace.
Second, in the last year a small number of technology giants began rapidly moving to consolidate their power by becoming makers of “everything” in our digital lives. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and a few others are maneuvering to make the hardware people use, the operating systems that run those devices, the browsers on which people navigate, the e-mail services on which they communicate, the social networks on which they share and the web platforms on which they shop and play. And all of this will provide these companies with detailed personal data about each consumer…
…A year ago, we wrote here: “The news industry, late to adapt and culturally more tied to content creation than engineering, finds itself more a follower than leader shaping its business.” In 2012, that phenomenon has grown.
Each week the Pew Research Center releases its News Interest Index examining the most followed stories in the US market.
Last week’s top stories were the sunken Italian cruise ship and the 2012 US elections.
SOPA also happened last week and it comes in at a somewhat respectable fourth (just after economic news stories). But what’s interesting is how it registered across age groups.
While just seven percent of people overall say they followed the SOPA debate, 23 percent of those under 30 surveyed say they followed news about the anti-piracy bill. That 23 percent is higher for this age group than any other news story.
Currently SOPA is off the table as lawmakers tinker with it to make it more “amenable” for re-introduction. As a congressional aid tells ReadWriteWeb, “I think, like anything else, if there’s not strong constituent opposition, it makes it easier for us to move forward on issues like this.”
Something to consider as older demographics largely ignore SOPA and other legislation affecting copyright.