Dunno. But you might. Newspapers are dying. Which means that it’s a great time for a hidden high potential to get into the News business with a completely different model.
Crains Chicago has video on some new ideas coming out in town (that’s Chicago) to solve the newspaper problem. Both the Tribune and Sun-Times parent companies aren’t doing well. The Tribune Company is bankrupt, of course, and the Sun-Times is on the ropes.
(We saw them both in an earlier review of newspapers problems with reporting circulation.)
Some interesting ideas.
The real secret to news is that no one really cares. All news is local, they say. The best thing is to be very local, and publish names. That means that you need a real community, so that people care about reading about people that they know. I know that I would probably still pay for a Valparaiso-only paper, but it would have almost no budget.
Advertising is being sent out in fake little weekly papers, mostly just vehicles for ads. Which, of course, is what newspapers are. It’s not about the news: it’s about the adverts.
Of course, if you decide to offer a different way to get the news you are going to anger the giant and dying newspaper companies. Threatened with the failure of their own management decisions, they will definitely try to get a pound of flesh out of the new companies. Or they will try to take what you have invented and claim it as their own. Either way, you’re going to court.
How will we get news in the future? I’m not sure what the future will be. Blogging is dead (more or less) except for some big events it makes little sense. I’m betting the real solution will come after the papers all implode. I can’t see the television news picking up the slack: they’re not doing well either, because fear-mongering only works in the short run and too many people no longer care.
Did you know that a inordinately large percentage young Americans get their information on national issues from comedy programs like The Daily Show? And that when tested it had information content equal to many of the “real” cable news networks, and sometimes exceeded them in analysis?