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The media’s tortoise and the hare

March 31, 2008

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I came across two incredibly interesting articles over the weekend chronicling the media’s offline / online dilemma. They are must reads:

1. The New Yorker’s Eric Alterman writes Out of Print, The death and life of the American newspaper.

2. TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld blogs Six Months In, And 600 Posts Later . . . The Worlds Of Blogging and Journalism Collide (In My Brain).

A couple quick questions to ask yourself after reading the articles:

  • how will blogs (err, according to Schonfeld “Some people question whether TechCrunch is even a blog anymore rather than a professional media site. But that distinction is becoming increasingly meaningless. The truth is that we are both.”) like TechCruch adapt and diversify when “profiles and reviews of Web 2.0 companies” becomes passe and boring?
  • do you feel the sources of opinion are proliferating, while the sources of facts on which those opinions are based are shrinking?
  • how has your local daily newspaper restructured its website and/or its print product (if appropriate) to encourage two-way conversation?
  • for you gamblers out there here’s and over/under: will the final copy of the final newspaper appear on somebody’s doorstep in 2043 – over or under?

Unlike in Aesop’s fable, it’s pretty clear that “slow and steady” won’t be winning this race. HOWEVER, just because you’re fast, by no means guarantees you’ll win… (from TechCrunch: “Our philosophy is that it is better to get 70 percent of a story up fast and get the basic facts right than to wait another hour (or a day) to get the remaining 30 percent.”)

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