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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Media present is a hybrid of old + new « Previous | |Next »
November 14, 2009

A debate or conversation about the future of news media between "old" and "new" media at the Monaco Media Forum between Mathias Dopfner, CEO of German media giant Axel Springer and Arianna Huffington of the entrepreneurial media start-up Huffington Post in the US.

The consensus was that the present and the future is a hybrid reality in the linked economy --- a mixture of paywalls, newspapers, broadcasters and advertising financed online media. The future is digital, the emphasis is on content provision, and there is a diversity of the distribution of content in a decentralized, opened economy.

There is always something that flows, that escapes the overcoding machine, as Deleuze would put it. Hybridity is a figure for the breakdown of all kinds of boundaries and categories and with new lines appearing to be drawn, there are new ways of playing with the fragments.

Suprisingly, it was also agreed that there is a crisis of journalism due to critical content failure (eg., the Iraq war and the global financial crisis), and not one due to the technology of the distribution channels. On those two major events the journalists failed to live up to their professed standards and were content to spin for the those in favour of war and Wall Street. There was little analysis or investigative journalism.

This is then associated with a growing concern about how we fund quality public service/accountibility journalism--seen by many to be on par with our transportation infrastructure, the social safety net, public universities---in the future. Highspeed broadband for all is the first step.

In Australia the circulation of the corporate national media (the AFR and The Australian) continues to slip and their revenue to decline. The newspaper and commercial broadcast executives continue to argue that the advertising declines are cyclical, and that the advertising future will magically brighten when the overall economy returns to prosperity from the mining boom.

The economic reality is that the advertising won't return to the same levels as before, the newspapers will become much smaller operations (laying off people and scaling back) and Fairfax will struggle to service, and to roll over, its $1.8 billion debt.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:06 PM | | Comments (4)


Chrystia Freeland, U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times, said at a recent Shorenstein Center brown-bag lunch that:

the news industry is the white-collar equivalent of Detroit auto workers...the end of the oversupply of journalism … might actually be a good thing and as fewer news organizations compete, there are greater opportunities and "pricing power for the ones that remain.

creative destruction.

Jeff Jarvis gives one hybrid modelhere He says that when journalists leave the towers of the big corporate media:

their companies should invest in their futures as entrepreneurs: Set them up with blogs, sell their ads, promote them, and continue to reap the value of their experience and brands (without the cost). The Washington Post should fund the next Politico in town, not see its talent walk out the door to start it elsewhere.

Interesting idea. Can't see Fairfax doing this though. They are too caught up in defending their declining and indebted print empire.

It is precisely that control of coding that they cling to like limpits.
Organisations like Fairfax, in the busines of delivering a market, cannot embrace a renegade like former SMH journo Margo Kingston, who when given control of a blog pioneer, Web Diary, applied broadsheet principles to its running to create a reasonably effective entity that had the unfortunate characteristic of getting close to issues the likes of media bosses preferred ignored.
End of Kingston!
The battle over boat people has belatedly exposed what this has always been about- a true codings war. and processive. No doubt a Spinoza would be interested in what was absent rather than present in all the presentings.
This is since this latest asylum seeker war has forced scrutiny and exposure of underlying structure and content in the presented paradigm, not apparent at first glance.
Instead of reinforcing the Ruddock queue jumper line, repeated exposure has the paradigm itself under threat, as people realise, from facts and figures, that many are , in fact, "refugees".
Therefore, why the ongoing nastiness from some; what do we need to find out about our often subjective responses, instead.

the Jeff Jarvis model suggests that Fairfax would support Margo Kingston when Webdiary went independent. That was an genuine entrepreneurial move.They just turned their backs on her attempt to establish online journalism.

That failure says a lot about Fairfax.