Mark Twain on “sponsored content” and “native advertising,” 1873.
The argument about paywalls — and copyright and the value of content — is the wrong argument. It’s an argument about trying to preserve old, industrial media model in a very different technological reality.
The discussion we should be having is how better to build valuable relationships of trust with people as people, not masses, and then how to exploit that value to support the work they want us to do. We can’t force them to do what we want anymore. For now, media are voluntary.
Complements with some thoughts on alternatives to ad-supported journalism.
I don’t fit into any demographic, I never really have. But that’s true of lots of us, especially people my age and younger who’ve grown up with complicated identities, because life has gotten more complicated, and in which we don’t want to be defined by any single one of them, but are happy to present many facets of our interests and personalities.
I am not going to pretend, partly because none of you would believe it, that I don’t have opinions, right? Okay, that’s ridiculous! I mean if you’re an intelligent journalist you’ve got to have opinions; so let’s get those opinions up there and let’s challenge them! See how robust they are!
The lovely thing about the Dish is that it’s this sort of collective hive mind of all these readers, all of whom are interested in getting at the truth.
REDDIT Q&A WITH DAVID CARR
Q: As a fledgling journalist, I’m constantly having conversations about breaking into the field during these “changing” times — the internet makes reporting today way different from reporting decades ago. Say you graduated from college this past year and were trying to break into the journalism field. Do you think this hypothetical career trajectory would be the same as your actual one? Not exactly comparable, but I’m interested in hearing how media today could’ve affected or changed your development as a journalist.
A: Right now, being a reporter is a golden age. There may be a lack of business models to back it up, but having AKTOCA on — All Known Thought One Click Away — on my desktop, tablet or phone makes it an immensely deeper, richer exercise than it used to be.
And the velocity of change is only increasing. Right now, I can talk to my phone and tablets and it knows what I am saying. What happens when it knows what my sources are saying and renders real-time transcripts? We are getting very close. And what happens when speech becomes text on the Web. One of the barriers to entry has been that you have to type what you are thinking to blog about that. What happens when that barrier goes away? Content is going to further explode, and I can’t figure out if that is good or bad for those of us who are in the Signal vs. Noise business.
Q: I’m a freshman in college right now & journalism is a career that interests me. Is there any advice you can share on being successful in journalism?
A: You have to make stuff. The tools of journalism are in your hands and no one is going to give a damn about what is on your resume, they want to see what you have made with your own little fingies. Can you use Final Cut Pro? Have you created an Instagram that is about something besides a picture of your cat every time she rolls over? Is HTML 5 a foreign language to you? Is your social media presence dominated by a picture of your beer bong, or is it an RSS of interesting stuff that you add insight to? People who are doing hires will have great visibility into what you can actually do, what you care about and how you can express on any number of platforms.
I think advertising could provide us a nontrivial amount of money, but we felt that we’d rather have less money and have a very pure, simple concept.
In some ways we’re breaking up cartels and creating a true kind of journalistic capitalism. Those sites that readers really want to stay in existence will have to earn that.
Support Andrew here.
One of the great things about [journalism today] is you don’t have to wait for permission. You don’t have to wait for somebody to give you a job to start making something that you think would be good. … The more idealistic you are about your work, the more cunning and savvy you need to be about the business side of it.
Also see how to avoid “work” and do what you love.
Fantastic new episode of PBS Off Book exploring the impact of Twitter on journalism.
Previous episodes have covered typography, product design, art in the age of the internet, book art and papercraft, generative art, the explosion of animated GIFs, LEGO art, the art of film and TV title design, the culture of Reddit, technologies that allow us to see beyond the human eye, logo design, and the art of motion graphics and animation.
A chilling look at the 648 journalists murdered since 1992, by the numbers and faces.
Uncovering secrets might require counting missile silos in satellite images or debriefing double agents. To understand our connected world, we need different skills.
central paradox of this connected age is that while it’s easier than ever to share information and perspectives from different parts of the world, we may be encountering a narrower picture of the world than we did in less connected days. During the Vietnam War, television reporting from the frontlines involved transporting exposed film from Southeast Asia by air, then developing and editing it in the United States before broadcasting it days later. Now, an unfolding crisis such as the Japanese tsunami or Haitian earthquake can be reported in real time via satellite. Despite these lowered barriers, today’s American television news features less than half as many international stories as were broadcast in the 1970s.