Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Andrew Coyne: CRTC regulators seem to be confused what century it is

Andrew Coyne writes:

"The most talked about show on American television this year isn’t on television. House of Cards, a $100-million political thriller (based on the British show of the same name) does not appear in any network’s schedule, has never been broadcast, yet has been seen by millions of people — streamed over the Internet to Netflix’s 30 million U.S. subscribers, at any time and in any configuration (one, some, or all 13 episodes at once) that suits them.
"Netflix is hardly alone in this space. Hulu, Amazon, AOL, Crackle, plus dozens of smaller startups are all busily ramping up the range and quality of online content they provide, hoping to emulate Netflix’s success. There is, indeed, something of a gold rush on for content online. Yahoo has just bought Saturday Night Live’s entire back catalogue. YouTube now offers full-length feature films alongside its traditional repertoire of skateboarding dogs. . . .

" . . .now I want to take you to a committee room in Gatineau, Que., where the CRTC is holding hearings — in 2013, not 1968 — on whether to require cable companies to carry, and their subscribers to pay for, a raft of new and existing channels that have been unable to persuade subscribers to part with their money on their own. That is, the applicants are asking to be added to the bundle of channels known as “basic cable,” which every cable subscriber in the country is obliged to take. Never mind channels — bundles! It’s almost charming, it’s so anachronistic."
The full column

Agency withdraws casting call for CBC show that specified ‘any race except Caucasian’

A casting call to hire a new CBC host that specifically said white people need not apply has been withdrawn, with the casting agent offering apologies for the mistake.
The original ad for the host of a children’s show, posted on the casting agency’s website under a CBC logo and on Craigslist, said: “Please only submit [an audition tape] if you match the following criteria: Male between the ages of 23-35 years; Any race except Caucasian.”
A new version of the ad removes the race reference, but maintains the sex and age restrictions and that applicants “must be able to carry a tune,” “ability to dance or move well is a bonus,” and should be “not afraid to show a silly side,” among others.
The revised casting call was issued and the Craigslist ad deleted Monday after critics on Twitter started questioning the restriction.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Excellent background to CBC exec's move to Twitter

The Globe and Mail's Simon Houpt writes:

In a sharp illustration of how the media landscape is shifting from traditional companies to new media powerhouses, Kirstine Stewart, one of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s top executives, announced her surprise departure on Monday to head up the first domestic office of Twitter.
Ms. Stewart, the CBC’s executive vice-president of English-language services, will become the managing director of Twitter Canada, where she will focus on partnerships with media companies, other brands and advertisers.

CBC VP Kirstine Stewart resigns to join Twitter

CBC senior executive Kirstine Stewart is leaving the corporation to oversee the new Canadian office of Twitter.
Stewart has been CBC's executive vice-president of English language services, heading all television, radio and online services, since her appointment in January 2011.
She is leaving the position immediately to join Twitter, an internet social networking and microblogging service based in San Francisco.

CBC’s Don Cherry’s remarks that women shouldn’t be in male dressing rooms continue to spark controversy

Don Cherry says the men’s locker-room is no place for a woman.
The outspoken CBC hockey broadcaster made the comments during his weekly Coach’s Corner segment of “Hockey Night in Canada” on Saturday night while discussing the controversy around Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Keith Duncan.
Keith was  criticized earlier in the week after delivering what some considered a sexist post-game putdown to a female radio reporter in Vancouver.
Cherry believes the reporter — Karen Thomson of Team 1040 — shouldn’t have been allowed in the Blackhawks dressing to begin with.
“I don’t believe women should be in the male dressing room,” said Cherry, causing his broadcast partner, Ron MacLean, to grimace.
The whole Star story

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Kelowna radio anchor pulled off air for working for B.C. Liberal candidate

A radio news anchor in Kelowna was pulled off the air today after her managers found out she was volunteering as a communications person for the local B.C. Liberal candidate.
AM 1150's local anchor and reporter Wendy McLeod admitted she was doing communications for Kelowna–Lake Country candidate, Norm Letnick.
"I'm just writing a couple of press releases for them whenever they needed a hand," she told the CBC. The radio station's management pulled McLeod off the air following the CBC interview..

Ontario Newspaper Awards announced

Claire Brownell and Tyler Brownbridge of the Windsor Star took home the top two prizes Saturday at the annual Ontario Newspaper Awards dinner.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Christie Blatchford column on Rehtaeh Parsons ignites social media storm

Christie Blatchford in her NatPost column defended the decision not to lay charges in the case.

CTV Halifax reports on some of the reaction:

Young TV watchers may spend equal time on social media

The average Canadian adult watches a whopping 30 hours of television a week, according to BBM Canada.
Nathaniel Willsie figures he’s way under that and swears he’s not among those who watch an average of four hours and 20 minutes of TV a day.
It’s his growing interest in social media that’s led to his declining interest in TV. And when he is watching, the TV screen only has a fraction of his attention, with his eyes frequently scanning over to his iPhone or laptop, which are always within reach.
But when it comes to how much time he spends online, he laughs sheepishly as he tries to do the math.
“It’s a lot,” says the ruminating 24-year-old from Edmonton, umming and ahhing for a few seconds before coming to a number that he sounds surprised to utter aloud.
“I’m on social media pretty much all day long from eight in the morning until midnight, I would say.
“I don’t know, maybe 10 hours a day?”
Willsie’s not alone. A recent report by the Media Technology Monitor found that 58 per cent of Canadians said they have multitasked with an Internet-connected device while watching TV, and 26 per cent said they were always or almost always using the Internet while watching TV.
Meanwhile, figures for web usage are edging closer to time spent watching TV, especially among younger demographics.

Friday, April 26, 2013

All the news an advertiser can pay for

Excellent Simon Houpt column in the Globe about "native advertising" -- paid for stories that in an earlier age were referred to as  "sucker pages" by reporters assigned to write such content.

Excerpt: " .   . if the industry is in turmoil, one group is doing fine: the companies that organize conferences on how to deal with the turmoil."

Best quote in the piece from former journalist and now marketing guy Kyle Monson: "If we destroy the credibility of our media partners, that doesn't help anyone."

The whole story

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Layoffs coming at Vancouver Sun and The Province

Staff at The Province and the Vancouver Sun are bracing themselves for impending layoffs to achieve “dramatic staff reductions.”
In a bluntly-worded four-page memo sent to all employees on Wednesday, Pacific Newspaper Group president and publisher Gordon Fisher said the two competing newspapers have seen an “alarming and unprecedented revenue declines,” and layoffs will likely follow a voluntary buyout program that will be launched soon.
Fisher told J-Source he does not have a specific target for the number of employees or the amount of cost savings the company hoped to achieve through the buyout. He added that he has been in conversation with the union, and said the existing contracts make the two Vancouver-based newspapers costlier to produce than others. 
"Look, we have to find significant savings and I'm anticipating we will have to resort to layoffs," he said. "We're looking at the legacy part, so definitely managers will also be considered for these buyouts, and I'm hoping we can find a way to keep some of the younger journalists ... I'm not really keen on the idea that just because you're last one in, I don't want it to be like you're first out."
Fisher says the Pacific Newspaper Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Postmedia Network, cannot afford to live in a nostalgic past. Print revenue fell 16 per cent in March, and online advertising revenue has not been able to make up the shortfall. “These are not easy decisions,” he said, but for now, says there is no plan to eliminate one of the two newspapers. "There will be more integration. Already there is more of that."
More from J-source

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Newspaper reporter named worst job in United States

Newspaper reporter earned the number 200 position — landing below lumberjack — in the annual Career Cast rankings. The company said that print journalists suffer from high stress and a difficult work environment. Not to mention the ranking for their chance at a promising career future falls into the negatives.
Career Cast lists the average income of US newspaper reporters at $35,275, considerably less than the higher-ranked job of photojournalist. However, photojournalists still fall near the bottom of the job list at slot number 188, slightly behind radio and television broadcasters.
The best job in America, according to the list, is actuary. Despite all those probability calculations of death and destruction, the rankings indicate actuaries have a relatively low-stress work environment and a high chance of employment at a high wage.

(Good thing it's only in the U.S., eh?) :))

Openness of Boston puts the closed doors of VIA Rail case in stark contrast: Christie Blatchford

NatPost columnist Christie Blatchford describes the stark contrast between U.S. and Canadian courts and law enforcement media relations and openness.

"Reporters were told that both suspects would appear in court at Old City Hall in Toronto Tuesday morning, but come Tuesday morning, it turned out that Mr. Esseghaier had in fact been flown back to Montreal due to some jurisdictional issue, and will be again flown to Toronto for a Wednesday court appearance.
"No one was on hand to explain what that delay was about to the long line of reporters who waited early Tuesday in the bowels of Old City Hall outside No. 103, the tiny courtroom used for federal cases.
"On the hard benches, a sleeping man, perhaps homeless, snored loudly.
"Court officers and officials bustled about, bristling with self-importance and long sighs of suffering. . . .
"At long last, all who could fit were allowed into the seriously small room. . . .

"The mostly inaudible justice of the peace asked if he understood her instructions, chiefly that he was remanded to May 23, and that he must not communicate with Mr. Esseghaier except through his lawyer.
"'It’s very clear,' Mr. Jaser replied, and that was pretty much that.
"No documents were posted online anywhere, for anyone.
"Reporters did receive copies of the indictment, but that was because the Toronto Sun’s Sam Pazzano had gone upstairs to a clerk’s office, where his is a familiar face, and begged for one, then made multiple copies.
"This is how journalists in Canada secure court documents, by force of charm and persistence, which Mr. Pazzano has in spades.
"As my great editor remarked, the instinct in America, public and official, is always toward openness; in this country, it is usually in the opposite direction, to hiding, to secrecy, to who-knows-who and to a remarkable level of self-satisfaction."

The full column in the NatPost

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

AP Twitter hack causes panic on Wall Street and sends Dow plunging

Wall Street collided with social media on Tuesday, when a false tweet from a trusted news organization sent the US stock market into freefall.
The 143-point fall in the Dow Jones industrial average came after hackers sent a message from the Twitter feed of the Associated Press, saying the White House had been hit by two explosions and that Barack Obama was injured. The fake tweet, which was immediately corrected by Associated Press employees, caused a sensation on Twitter and in the stock market.
White House officials were unimpressed. An AP reporter apologized for the Twitter hacking at the start of the daily White House press briefing, saying the tweet had been deleted as soon as it was discovered. A stoney-faced Jay Carney, Obama's personal spokesman, thanked the reporter but did not look amused. "The president is fine. I was just with him," added Carney.
The market recovered within a few minutes of the misunderstanding, but the incident left traders catching their breath and speculating once more about their vulnerability to breaking news in the age of social media. It also raised new questions over Twitter's security procedures.
The panic, however brief, demonstrates how tightly intertwined Wall Street has become with Twitter, a site that acts as both chatroom and news service, where journalists and publications regularly send out breaking news.
More from the Guardian

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Canadian Jewish News to stop printing June 20

The Canadian Jewish News will publish its final print edition on June 20.
Donald Carr, president of the 53-year-old newspaper — which has separate editions in Toronto and Montreal and a staff of about 50 — explained the decision in a message posted online on Monday.
“I never dreamed that I would be writing this. No nightmare of mine envisioned it.
“For some time, we have known of the ravages that printed newspapers and magazines have been experiencing across the world. The digital age, in which news and commentary are retrieved instantly on smartphones, on computers and on all kinds of new devices, has overtaken the printed word.
“For the most part, the attractions of printed paper are welcome experiences only for an older generation and appear to be destined to be things of the past. Added to this that much of the world believes that news and commentary should be free.”
The newspaper was first published on the first day of 1960 but became a non-profit under its current ownership in 1971.
Continued publication in electronic form was mentioned as a likelihood in Carr’s note although any specific plans don’t appear to have been developed yet.
The competing Jewish Tribune — which has claimed a larger readership thanks to free print distribution — continues to be published by owner and advocacy group B’nai Brith Canada.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Breaking news is broken! -- Slate

Inspired by the events of the past week, here’s a handy guide for anyone looking to figure out what exactly is going on during a breaking news event. When you first hear about a big story in progress, run to your television. Make sure it’s securely turned off.

Next, pull out your phone, delete your Twitter app, shut off your email, and perhaps cancel your service plan. Unplug your PC.

Now go outside and take a walk for an hour or two. Maybe find a park and sit on a bench, reading an old novel. Winter is just half a year away—have you started cleaning out your rain gutters? This might be a good time to start. Whatever you do, remember to stay hydrated. Have a sensible dinner. Get a good night’s rest. In the morning, don’t rush out of bed. Take in the birdsong. Brew a pot of coffee.

Finally, load up your favorite newspaper’s home page. Spend about 10 minutes reading a couple of in-depth news stories about the events of the day. And that’s it: You’ve now caught up with all your friends who spent the past day and a half going out of their minds following cable and Twitter. In fact, you’re now better informed than they are, because during your self-imposed exile from the news, you didn’t stumble into the many cul-de-sacs and dark alleys of misinformation that consumed their lives. You’re less frazzled, better rested, and your rain gutters are clear.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

LaPresse going tablet in brave experiment with the future of newspapers

The Globe and Mail's Steve Ladurantaye reports on LaPresse launching a tablet in a daring bet on the future of news. He writes:

"La Presse is making a $40-million bet on the future of news, hoping that readers and advertisers will embrace a new tablet edition that could one day replace its printed newspaper.
"The Montreal-based daily unveils its new digital edition today, the result of 2 1/2 years of research and development that has seen the 129-year-old newspaper add more than 100 journalists to its newsroom at a time when others across North America are shedding staff.
"It is giving the product away free, despite spending tens of millions of dollars to put it together, even as its competitors, including The Globe and Mail, increasingly turn to paid online subscription models to fund their journalism. . . ."
The whole story

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

FBI lectures hair-trigger media for arrest report

The Federal Bureau of Investigation harshly refuted reports that a suspect in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings was arrested Wednesday. Several media outlets, including The Associated Press, CNN and Fox News reported an arrest was made Wednesday afternoon, citing law enforcement sources. "Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack," the FBI said in a released statement. "Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting." CBS and NBC initially countered press reports saying that no arrest had been made.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Voice of football" broadcaster Pat Summerall dies

Pat Summerall, considered one of the greatest voices in American sports broadcasting history, has died at the age of 82, a spokesman for his former employer Fox Sports said on Tuesday.
Summerall, best known as the NFL play-by-play broadcaster alongside former Oakland Raiders football coach John Madden, died in Texas, Fox Sports Senior Vice President for Media Relations, Lou D'Ermilio, said.

Nielsen study touts newspapers

A new Nielsen study commissioned by the Newspaper Association of America finds that newspapers and their websites have the highest effect in advertising and in engaging audiences.
The study, which surveyed 5,000 adults on 11 different engagement metrics, found that newspaper media topped all other major media including TV, radio and social in its overall engagement ability.
When it comes to advertising engagement, newspapers and their sites deliver a 12% larger audience than the overall average for all media and 16% larger than that of social media, the study found.
Local newspapers ranked highest when it came to add effectiveness, followed by national papers and sites for both newspaper types.
Consumers also found newspapers more trustworthy than other media sources, with national newspapers ranking the highest for trustworthiness, followed by their websites and local newspapers and their sites, according to the study.
Full story

Monday, April 15, 2013

BBC defends putting students’ lives at risk by using university class as ‘human shields’ on covert trip to North Korea

Some of the university students who travelled to North Korea with a covert BBC reporter have received threats from the communist state since returning to the U.K., the London School of Economics says, as the broadcaster faces a barrage of criticism for its tactics.
The university claims the students were used as “human shields” on the trip and key information was withheld from them.
“We have received complaints from North Korean authorities – and some of the students who went on the trip have received threats. They have received letters,” the university’s director told The Guardian newspaper.

Easy money for doing nothing? Try specialty TV channels: John Doyle column

Globe and Mail columnist John Doyle takes on the (as he might say) specialty channels racket.
"I draw your attention to a report in this great newspaper the other day on the matter of the Bell Media-owned Book Television channel. The owners have approached the CRTC asking for permission to change the nature of Book Television’s programming, away from its mandated coverage of writing, books, authors and publishing, and toward “more attractive programming,” which would mean “…the scheduling of drama programming based upon the printed word.”
"My first reaction was this: Hello? Excuse me? Does Book Television still exist? Apparently it does, loitering in the nether regions of digital cable . . "
The whole column

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Toronto Star trying out online minibooks

"Not a newspaper. Not a book.  Star Dispatches is the new weekly eReads subscription program from the Toronto Star newsroom," says its web page. "Each week,   a new perspective on a news story is available for your tablet, eReader, or computer for only $1/week."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

BBC in controversy for playing "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead" in Thatcher funeral coverage

The BBC has defended its decision not to play in full on Radio 1's Official Chart Show a song at the centre of an anti-Baroness Thatcher campaign.
A five second clip of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead will be played in a news item on Sunday's show.
BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said the move over the Wizard of Oz film track had been a difficult compromise.
He said he had to balance respect for someone who had just died with issues around freedom of speech.
Sales of the song, from the 1939 musical starring Judy Garland, have soared since former Prime Minister Lady Thatcher's death on Monday, aged 87.
'Grieving family'
Speaking to BBC News, Mr Cooper said: "You have a track which I believe is disrespectful. It is not a political track, it is a personal attack on an individual who has just died.
"But on the other hand, if I ban the track then you have arguments about censorship and freedom of speech.
"I also took into account the very difficult scenario of the fact there's a grieving family involved here who have yet to bury a loved one.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Germany's second largest news agency shuts down

DAPD, the second largest news agency in Germany, ended its operation Thursday afternoon. Nearly 200 employees lost their job
Petra Hilgers, the insolvency administrator for the ailing agency, announced in a staff meeting in Berlin that efforts to find investors had failed. At 17:00, the two-year-old agency stopped offering news service to its customers.
DAPD currently had about 175 permanent employees. German Journalists' Association chairman Michael Konken called the shut-down "a disaster for the editors and freelance journalists of DAPD."
"This is a loss for media diversity in our country," he said, asking other media to consider offering job opportunities for former DAPD staff. "They deserve a second chance," said Konken.
Since it filed for bankruptcy in October 2012, DAPD has been making efforts to find new investors. Russian news agency RIA Novosti was seen as the last hope for the insolvent agency. Their negotiation, however, was cancelled recently.
Founded in September 2010 after a merge of former West Germany news agency DDP and the German branch of American news agency Associated Press, DAPD had been trying to strengthen its position in the competitive German market of news agencies, which includes Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA), French Agence France Presse (AFP) and the group of Thomson Reuters.
DAPD news agency's bankruptcy came as a surprise as it declared an expansion in 2011, buying French photo agency Sipa Press in July and started a sports service a month later. In January 2012, DAPD announced to open a news service in France, with a purchase of AP's French service.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sports commentator Johnny Esaw dead at age 87

Canadian broadcasting legend Johnny Esaw has died. He was 87. Esaw pioneered live sports broadcasting in Canada, concentrating on CFL football, figure skating, auto racing and international hockey on the CTV network. It was Esaw who conducted the famous interview with Team Canada captain Phil Esposito after the 1972 Summit Series loss to the Soviets in Vancouver that many believe united the country behind the team. He was born in North Battleford, Sask., in 1925 and after trying to become a professional hockey player started a broadcasting career that took him to Winnipeg and then Toronto in 1960 where he was sports director of CFTO and launched sports broadcasting on the then-new CTV network. Esaw was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004. He is in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame, the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football Reporters Hall of Fame. Story 

Aspiring U.K. film mkaker dies while documenting the homeless

An aspiring film-maker believed to have been sleeping rough on the streets to document the plight of homeless people and the impact of the "bedroom tax" has been found dead in a derelict hostel just three days after embarking on his project.
Lee Halpin, 26, a radio presenter who edited an arts magazine and had completed a creative writing MA, was found in the boarded-up building in Newcastle-upon-Tyne after deciding to immerse himself for a week in the world of the those living on the streets in the city.
He was making the documentary after applying for a place on an investigative journalism scheme run by Channel 4, and hoped it would demonstrate the "fearless pursuit of a story" which the scheme required of applicants.
The "bedroom tax" is part of the U.K.'s welfare reforms that will cut the amount of benefit that people can get if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home. This measure has applied to housing benefit claimants of working age from 1 April 2013.
No cause of death has yet been established and a postmortem will be held early next week. Two men, aged 26 and 30, have been arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and bailed pending further inquiries, the Guardian newspaper reports.
More from the Guardian

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Marjorie (Marge) Anthony Linden, v-p of CTV in the 1980s, has died at age 77

Marjorie Anthony Linden, vice-president of  CTV Television in the 1980's has passed away in Malibu, California after an epic struggle with numerous illnesses at the age of 77.
Globe and Mail death notice

Friday, April 5, 2013

‘Tonight’ Switch Exposes Broadcasters’ Losses to New Media

"Success on the Internet has become a prerequisite for TV. On-demand viewing, digital recorders and next-day Web clips have diluted the attraction of late-night shows and forced networks to consider new priorities when replacing a host, said Greg Evans, a TV critic for Bloomberg Muse."
More from Blomberg analysis of TV viewer losses

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NBC confirms Fallon replaces Leno, Tonight Show moves to New York

NBC has confirmed that Late Night talk-show host Jimmy Fallon has signed a deal that will keep him at the network, clearing the way for him to succeed Jay Leno as host of the ever-popular Tonight Show.
Bloomberg reports that Leno will step down early next year in spring, 2014. They also report that NBC has announced the show will return to New York and Lorne Michaels will be executive producer.

More and more Canadians aged 50 and up are online and loving it

According to a research study titled Social Media As A Tool For Inclusion, written by Anne Taylor, in 2008 as many as one in five people over age 60 had visited a social media site. In addition, the number of Canadians aged 65 and older contributing to content online doubled between 2007 and 2010.
The story

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pamela Wallin steps down from Senate committees for personal reasons

Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin has temporarily resigned from two high-profile committees for personal reasons.
Wallin is no longer listed as a member of the Senate committee on national security and defence, which she has chaired since 2010 or of the Senate committee on foreign affairs and international trade.
A Conservative source in the Senate said Wallin asked Senator Marjory LeBreton, government leader in the Senate, last week to be temporarily relieved of her committee duties for personal reasons.
Three sources said it was due to family illness, but Wallin’s office would not comment on the matter Tuesday beyond confirming she would be absent for personal reasons.

Ex-CTV Head Ivan Fecan Named Chairman of Thunderbird Films

Ivan Fecan, who led the Canadian broadcaster for 17 years until retiring in 2011, is to become a consultant and chairman of the board at Vancouver-based indie producer Thunderbird Films.
Thunderbird a year ago formed a 50-50 joint venture with Lionsgate, Sea to Sky Studios, to make global TV series.
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer on Tuesday called Fecan a “visionary thinker” like Frank Guistra, a major Thunderbird shareholder.

News Corp. exploring sale of newspaper group, including the Times

News Corp. is exploring the sale of its Dow Jones Local Media Group, the collection of community newspapers mainly on the East Coast that was formerly known as the Ottaway community newspapers, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company has hired Waller Capital, the New York-based investment bank, to shop the papers, in hopes of selling them before the company spins off its publishing assets into a separate company this summer, according to the people.

Monday, April 1, 2013

How old media gave away the store: Diane Francis

Excellent piece by Diane Francis on how "old media" were caught napping.

"The biggest heist in history was when newspapers and magazines allowed Google to “crawl” their content to readers, to pay nothing and to sell ads around their stories.
Google became, in other words, the ubiquitous newspaper right under the noses of proprietors who should have charged for content then.
But they didn’t because most failed to understand that Google cannibalized their business model, capturing the eyeballs and advertisers and using them as bait.
Now the old media experiments with pay walls and new media products, but audiences have switched and new readers are addicted to free online content.
The only other fix would have been the creation of an iTunes for periodicals and newspapers, as the embattled music industry grabbed.
That way readers would have paid to download stories or publications. Apple’s Steven Jobs offered this rescue to newspaper publishers, but none were willing to share with him their subscriber lists.
It was the second fatal mistake and the genie’s out of the bottle. But Google, and others, are not finished."
The full column

Columbia j-school looks ahead in an age of disruption

New York Times piece by David Carr on the appointment of Steve Coll as the new dean at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism:

"Three things about that critique: Mr. Coll turned out to be more right than wrong; I was the one who was making fun of him, writing at The Washington City Paper; and I have since worn a hat cam. (It’s not a good look on anybody, by the way, but the video was impressive.)
"We now work in a future he thought a lot about. I was chatting with my colleague John Schwartz, who had just been working as part of The New York Times’s multimedia blitz on the Supreme Court’s consideration of gay marriage by doing Web updates, explanatory annotations to audio excerpts and video spots. “None of the things I spent the last three days doing existed when I came into the business,” he pointed out. That goes for me as well."

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