Well, now I want to go and fix journalism. These articles got my blood up.
I can’t read these article about journalism without my MBA brain engaging with the business model thought problem to try to find a way through.
While feeling apologetic about the fact that I am writing this blog response to blogs, speeches, and company research attempts to re-define business models and journalism from a soap box at the Ivory Towers of Harvard in a class directed exactly towards the main opportunities and problems of media, I also feel that at least some of resources of these institutions should have been directed towards more entrepreneurial attempts to drive their well-curated content to the masses.
Journalists like to deal in facts, so here’s one: old media had it coming to them.
(Obligatory Harvard movie line: How you like them apples?)
Why did they have it coming to them? Ok now I’m going to pick on the New York Times, as a microcosm of old media, and as we saw, the New York Times Innovation Report 2013 was published on March 24, 2014. Among other things, it contained these facts:
Fact: the New York Times was surpassed by Buzzfeed in 2013.
Aside: BUZZFEED!! Who are you kidding, New York Times? To be honest, the whole of this New York Times Innovation Report just makes me angry, as an entrepreneur.
If I was on the Board of Directors or the Management Team, I would take some of this anger out in a way that should have occurred years ago – I would break the current processes and rebuild them. There were clear indicators that the business model and system were broken years ago, and it’s the business processes that support and reinforce the system.
Here’s proof that the system and processes were broken:
1. If your systems are a time-suck, they are disabling rather than enabling, and there is proof that the Times Content Management System was exactly that. If a critical tool is a hindrance, I guarantee you that the operators of that CMS system, including almost every reporter on the news floor, knows this. This means everyone knows it’s a hindrance, and management did not create an enabling solution.
Let me rephrase: New York Times management did not recreate their hobbling Content Management System in a business that is based entirely on content! How does that make sense?
Recommendation: Purchase Vox Media, if that’s the only way to gain access to Chorus. If not, license it from them, merge with them, or hire away Vox Media’s developers to create a next-generation Chorus. You have to invest money to make money.
2. The New York Times is an institution with a huge amount of history that it adds to and documents each day. How do you as an institution not attempt to catalog and categorize that on an ongoing basis, and put in an effort to diving into your historical record to deepen and widen the perspective and value you deliver to your users?
Let me rephrase: there is no reason historical articles cannot be re-delivered for color and historical purposes with current articles on the same issue
Recommendation: the New York Times should bribe its users to do tag old articles for them with the right incentives. The Times could trade access to content for a particular amount of time to users that categorized some historical content for them in a Wiki format?