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A Dollar Will Make a Journalist Holler

October 30, 2010

                We all have heard the term money talks and bulls*** walks. This is certainly true when it comes to the media. This weeks readings had a lot to do with media and the good ol’ dollar (or in the case of one article, the pound). Money is power and drives a lot of what we do. Many newspapers have gone out of business lately because they are losing readers to the internet.

                Rupert Murdoch, who apparently is quite the greedy media tycoon, has recently put a Paywall on the London Times paper. Check it out, you can see the minute you find an article that peaks your interest and you click on it, you get a lovely pop-up that says £1 to access. Moore says, that the worst reason for implementing the paywall is ” it [the paywall] turns its back on the reason for the net’s success — the flowering of millions of conversation.” He offers the solution to paywalls- called metadata. The basic principle is that with metadata imbedded into a story everyone gets credit. You can see boxes of information explaining the type of sourcing as well as a link to the organizations editorial standards. It provides readers with backstory. This is something that could certainly be beneficial to news organizations.

                Another article by Gahran offers tools to build your news business. She discusses a practice that should be more commonplace among online news sources, which is going above and beyond what is currently being put in the text.   Don’t just say “during the meeting held in June, say “during the meeting held June 25 at the home of so-and-so etc.” In order for a story to not become stale too quickly, more value has to be added to it. Although an article may remain online for a long-time its shelf-life may expire quickly, unless there are links and other resources that keep it alive. With links to other stories, (and hopefully links to your story) your article is likely to become better, more useful and more insightful.

                Nathan Crick discusses the Dewey/Lipmann debates in his article. It seems that Lipmann believed that press was not a valuable tool, while Dewey believed that through communication, individuals are able to judge their values in terms of the shared interests of the public.  Communication facilitates shared experience, through socially-constituted language.  “Their shared hope was to find a method for dealing with the crisis of public opinion by focusing attention squarely on what Carl Bybee (1999) calls the “interconnection of citizenship, media and democracy.” Dewey and Lipmann clashed over whether and autonomous and funded news agency could enlighten the attitudes of a distracted and fragmented public. “The pressing question with which the Dewey/Lipmann debate leaves us is this – what form of publicly funded and autonomous agencies of social inquiry and news production are necessary to supplement the current corporate liberal media structure of the public sphere?” (Crick, 2009). Furthermore Crick tells us that “the internet in its capacity as a public sphere undoubtedly has facilitated a greater explosion of previously unheard voices than at any other time in history.” But- it is a tool only, not an answer provider.

                Grant and Wilkinson discuss media management in the text this week. Years ago, managers could see the news room as black and white. You either worked in a print newsroom or a broadcast newsroom. There was no gray. However, with convergence, this color spectrum is changing. Print, broadcast, internet, twitter, blogs etc… the face of every newsroom has seen the effect of convergence and it isn’t going away. The ones who must be most informed about convergence are the newsroom managers. It is important for managers to be equipped with the information and willing to help with problems, share their knowledge and train staff who have less knowledge. There are many things managers will have to understand when it comes to the newsroom. They will just need to remember to pay attention to the needs of their staff. If they pay attention to what actually goes on behind the scenes, it will make for a happier group. Employing the “7 best practices” (I would have named them the 7 c’s of convergence, but hey- nobody asked me) will help those media outlets who are embarking on convergence. These include “communication, commitment, cooperation, compensation, culture, competition and customer.” No matter what, convergence is not going away, so the best thing to do in the newsroom is instead of trying to ignore that it is staring you in the face, you should open your arms, embrace it, and hope for the best.  

References

Gahran, A.E. (2010, August 19). Structured news: make useful connections to build your news business. Retrieved from          http://www.knightdigitalmediacenter.org/leadership_blog/ comments/20100819_structured_news_make_useful_conne ctions_to_build_your_news_busines/?utm_source=feedbur ner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Knight DigitalMediaCenter+Knight+Digital+Media+Center&utm_c ontent=Google+Reader#When:22:32:34Z

Moore, M. (2010, August 18). How metadata can eliminate the need for pay walls. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2010/08/how-metadata-can- eliminate-the-need-for-pay- walls230.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed &utm_campaign=Feed%3A+pbs%2Fmediashift- blog+%28mediashift- blog%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Grant, A.E., & Wilkinson, J.S. (2009). Understanding media convergence: the state of the field. New York: Oxford University Press.

Graham, P. (2000). Hypercapitalism: a political economy of informational idealism. [Article]. New Media & Society, 2(2), 131.

Crick, N. (2009). The Search for a Purveyor of News: The Dewey/Lippmann Debate in an Internet Age. [Article]. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 26(5), 480-497. doi: 10.1080/15295030903325321

 http://www.infoamerica.org/teoria_articulos/lippmann_dewey.htm

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2010 12:31 am

    Kristen I think you got the right idea when it comes to money. You have to have the resources to fund media. We are a capitalist society. We gotta work hard for the mighty dollar especially in today’s economy. Companies are investing money in devices that can provide us with access to the internet because the internet draws the bigger audience. Newspapers are suffering because most people get there news else where. When I say elsewhere I am talking about television, radio, and the internet. You want to know something crazy? We pay hundreds and sometimes thousands for media devices like computers, phones, ipads, laptops, but a newspaper only cost about fifty cent. Even if you add that for all year its only 182.00. Thats cheaper than my brothers iphone.

  2. November 2, 2010 3:52 am

    I just don’t see paywalls ever being an option for news content. At least not everyday reporting. The cat was let out of the bag years ago and it can’t be put back. The New York Times tried this for years and failed.

  3. November 2, 2010 4:07 am

    I have mixed feelings about paywalls. I understand both sides of the fence, but for some reason I do think that print journalists’ concerns about releasing their work for free for mass consumption are just. Why buy a newspaper when I can get it for free online whenever I want? That’s a pretty serious dilemma for news organizations. Paywalls are a way of generating revenue for the costs of hosting the website and the manpower to maintain it. I do however agree with Derik in that paywalls will fail if there are other sources available to provide the information, and as we have discussed before, there are a vast number of locations to choose from when searching for news.

  4. November 2, 2010 4:08 am

    And BTW I love the title of this post 🙂

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