Recommending Rupe (Startling but True)
It doesn't happen often that I'm in enthusiastic agreement with Rupert Murdoch, but the argument he made yesterday in a radio address about the future of newspapers is smart and strong. From the AP story:
Global media magnate Rupert Murdoch says doomsayers who are predicting the Internet will kill off newspapers are "misguided cynics" who fail to grasp that the online world is potentially a huge new market of information-hungry consumers.
Here's a chunk of the speech:
In the 21st century, people are hungrier for information than ever before. And they have more sources of information than ever before.
Amid these many diverse and competing voices, readers want what they've always wanted: a source they can trust. That has always been the role of great newspapers in the past. And that role will make newspapers great in the future.
If you discuss the future with newspapermen, you will find that too many think that our business is only physical newspapers. I like the look and feel of newsprint as much as anyone. But our real business isn't printing on dead trees. It's giving our readers great journalism and great judgment.
"In short, we are moving from news papers to news brands," he added.
It's a longish talk, and I'm certainly not in accord with Murdoch all the way through. But the full speech is worth a read, or a listen.
As he said, "The newspaper, or a very close electronic cousin, will always be around. It may not be thrown on your front doorstep the way it is today. But the thud it makes as it lands will continue to echo around society and the world."
Paper, after all, isn't fundamental to the business; journalists' skills are. We overlook that at our peril.
Now, to get the financial model in order....