Ken Auletta: „Digital is almost as disruptive to traditional media as electricity was to the candle business”

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Ken Auletta „Digital is almost as disruptive to traditional media


12/14/11 by Maite Fernandez

If there is everyone who has a clue about what’s occurring right now with journalism and the media sector, that person is Ken Auletta.

In addition to masking media for The New Yorker due to the fact 1992, Auletta has penned quite a few guides about the affect of technology on the information and media business enterprise, such as the bestseller “Googled: The conclude of the planet as we know it.”

In this Q&A with IJNet, Auletta weighs in on the electronic revolution, The Huffington Write-up and why he does not shell out as substantially time as he would like on social media.

IJNet: What are the most disruptive modifications to the media business now?

Ken Auletta: The electronic revolution is almost as disruptive to the common media small business as electrical power was to the candle organization. For print, it eliminates paper, presses, and distribution. Considering the fact that these are the bulk of expenditures for newspapers and magazines, they should really be welcomed.

The challenge is twofold: it is not very clear that viewers will subscribe on line for info they believe they can get for free. And considering the fact that audience commit substantially significantly less time studying the exact publication on the web as they do the print model, advertisers shell out about a single tenth for the exact advert on-line as they do in a newspaper. And due to the fact most publications will not be abandoning visitors who insist on the print edition, expenses will stay higher. To date, the financial savings from going on the web are not matched by the on the net revenues…

IJNet: You’ve created publications about firms like Google and Microsoft and their influence on media. What can journalists discover from tech providers now?

KA: Among the the most critical points to learn is the centrality of engineers. Engineers are efficiency gurus, regularly inquiring, “Why can’t we do this this way?” The individuals who regulate journalistic enterprises will need engineers at their facet for the reason that engineers are our new information creators. It is the engineers who can, for instance, design the interesting applications on iPads for our publications or who can assistance make our stories go viral on social networks. Functioning journalists have to learn digital multimedia, be as proficient at video clip, blogging and producing inbound links as we are at reporting and composing our tales.

IJNet: In “Googled,” you generate that early on in the digital revolution “old media providers have been trapped in ‘the innovator’s dilemma’” by „defending their current company models” and failing to adjust quickly more than enough. Is that still the situation?

KA: It will always be the circumstance, and it is not just since legacy companies are trapped by behavior. Appear at The New York Situations. It is, I think the world’s greatest newspaper. And it is, in component, due to the fact it employs an astonishing 1,100 reporters and editors. But as audience search Google or go to information aggregators like The Huffington Submit to fetch their information for no cost, the benefit of the Times’ small business is threatened. So the Periods strives to devise an on the net edition that delivers extra than what is in the every day newspaper and to charge for it, but they compete with cost-free. The Times can reduce its newsroom funds, but will it deliver the identical top quality? It could test abandoning the print edition fully, but they will shed viewers who want to hold a paper in their hands and they will lose advertising earnings. That is „the innovator’s problem.” Newer electronic media firms do not have legacy expenses, massive profits streams to guard, or very pleased traditions to uphold.

IJNet: Some journalists are pretty lively on social networks. (Nicholas Kristof of the Times who has in excess of 200,000 followers on Facebook comes to mind), although other folks use them sparingly. You seem to fall into the latter classification. Why is that?

KA: I really don’t discover adequate time in the working day to go through books and magazines, to response my email messages, to read through all the internet websites and press notices pushed to me day by day and that I surf for details, and to converse with mates and spouse and children. I applaud how Facebook and Twitter enriched Nick Kristof’s reporting from the Arab Spring and elsewhere. I’m certain my output might be improved, but I worry far more about what I would miss out on. Component of the process of somebody who writes extended sort for The New Yorker or for books is to test and action back and escape the rush of news and feeling. much-disruptive-traditional-media-electrical energy-was-candle-small business

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