Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

Remember the scene in Blazing Saddles when the sheriff installed a toll booth in the center of the prairie, and all the bad guys lined through to horseback to pitch a dollar in the turnstile as opposed to ride around the gate? Classic 1974 Mel Brooks; revisited with a perspective of 2009 irony. Following the U.C. Berkeley Media Technology Summit held at Google a week ago, it seems that some strong voices have moved discussions away from paid content. ‘Sell News Online’ won’t pass the smell test for 95% of news sites because shhhh…. online news is free.

The turnstile gate is up: readers can proceed through it, around it, over it, and obtain news however, whenever, wherever they desire. People are in control,  newsone advertisers have voted to pay their dollars elsewhere and media companies perhaps, may be starting to discuss opportunities that scale. Nevertheless the question remains, will investigative journalism survive the slow, painful transition of the media industry?

Interesting that:

Not-for-profit business models like ProPublica are cropping up to support investigative journalism.
John Temple’s compelling presentation on lessons learned from the Rocky Mountain News included comments that online news needs “more ways for local businesses to attain prospects locally.

Advertisers were not represented. I did not see Associations from Restaurants, Car Companies, Auto Dealers, Convention Centers and certainly small businesses were not providing input.

It’s interesting that the bread and butter of the media industry, advertisers, remain not asked what they believe and how online news may may play a role in the advertisers’ future. Perhaps now that paid content is on the back burner, (I can make the broad assumption that advertisers were not asked about paid content as a small business model either), perhaps journalists may do what journalists do: research, investigate and report. There are lots of niches, industries and geographies that will provide data and perspective, if analyzed. If media firms had reached out and called for feedback as early as 2006 when advertisers started to leave newspapers, they might be presenting an alternative history today.

Janet Smith is really a Strategist, Marketer, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” kinda gal… (quote from Milton Berle) Marketing is all about generating repeat business with advantageous partnerships and effective communications. With 20+ years experience writing business plans and marketing strategies, [], Janet seeks a Director of Marketing position with a company that desires to break away from the pack. An inventor, Janet owns a patent-pending business method for the media industry.

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