Wired News: The New Old Journalism

Wired News: The New Old Journalism

Adam Penenberg on reforming the way journalism is taught, tossing aside "objectivity" and opening the profession to "transparent bias."

I’m indifferent, coming from a world where during an interview for my first newspaper job I was hired on the basis of two facts:

1. I could type fast.

2. I didn’t go to journalism school (the editor hated J-school grads). 

Time for a change: The Associated Press as Napsterized news

Time for a change: The Associated Press as Napsterized news

As the news business moves to an aggregated model — Google, Yahoo News, RSS readers — the arms merchants who are building the original reporting have a couple choices.

1. Build the walled garden and keep it to themselves, hoping their value will attract traffic to their ads.

2. Be promiscious and syndicate their stuff anywhere and everywhere.

Here, in the Online Journalism Review, Benz and Phillips urge AP not to charge websites for running AP items, but to "Napsterize" their model.



IAB report on Internet Advertising Growth

5/24/2004 Press Release

IAB reporting that Internet advertising is topping $10 billion in 04 — 40 percent of that is search advertising.

CPM display and performance based units are neck and neck.

Good news for me, in new role as GM of CXO Online, is that computer services advertising is the biggest category for the spend. 

Yahoo News is re-launched

I’ve kept an eye on Yahoo News since Neil Budde took over the operation late last year. Neil’s reputation from founding the WSJ.com — and stature as the first man to dare to put a national newspaper behind a cost-wall and then succeed at it — makes him a true pioneer in online news.  Like many others in the first wave of online business news — Merrill Brown at MSNBC, Dave Kansas at TheStreet.com — he bailed out around 2000, resurfacing last fall at the helm of one of the biggest news portals in terms of potential to match the much-feared offerings of Google News.

Yahoo News has relaunched and I took a look last night. The first thing that struck me was how vertical the design is — the different news categories are stacked one-atop-the-next vs. Google’s two column horizontal format that leads with top news (as does Yahoo), but then does a side-by-side of each news category.

Second is that Yahoo is playing most-favored-nation status within each category — a tabbed menu for the Business category shows the following headline sources:

AP | Reuters | AFP | BusinessWeek Online | USA Today | NPR | FT.com | My Sources

Click on My Sources and this is displayed: "Sign in to add your favorite news sources from around the web here. For example, popular Business sources are MarketWatch.com, TheStreet.com, and Forbes.com."

Right off the bat I begin to wonder, okay, Yahoo News is giving tabs to those news organizations it did a deal with. That means this has, out of the gate, a high degree of editorial (or business development) pre-selection. Someone made the decision that BusinessWeek Online should lead over Forbes.com. Wonder what agreements were forged for positioning in this most-favored-nation tabs?

Sure, I can go into my sources and set up Xinhua if that is where I want to get my business news. But you know what? I like the machine-based democracy of Google News better. No selection bias. Okay, so AFP told Google News to knock off displaying its content and photos, but Yahoo News was able to come to terms with them, I guess that’s what AFP’s placement in Yahoo’s tabs means.

Sorry Neil. I’m going to stick with the blind impartiality of Google News for the time being. I’m sure this is an improvement over the old Yahoo News approach, but there’s no big kick in the butt in terms of layout, tools, personalization to make me drag the URL down to my nav bar, register, and customize an account. The killer is the pre-placement of the sources. I like the machine-based objectivity of Google, dredging up Michael Jackson stories from the Kerala Times in India, it’s weirdly random and democratic.  The pre-populated placement of sources in Yahoo’s category makes this an exercise in strategic alliances and deals.

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