1. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Newspaper Outlook 2009, “Moving into multiple business models”
An interesting overview of business outlooks based on surveys, interviews, and secondary sources from Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA. Fairly bullish about the future of the industry–“Newspapers have a long-term future and will coexist with other media.”–and explicitly points out that the troubles in the US newspaper industry may have as much to do with mergers and acquisitions as with the internet–“The credit crisis has greatly imperiled many US publishers who took on large amounts of debt to make recent acquisitions.” A lot of the suggestions they make will restructure much of the daily work in news organizations, and will, in some countries, require renegotiations of contracts and cooperation with various unions.
2. Raffi Khatchadourian’s piece on WikiLeaks in the New Yorker
I knew only little about Wikileaks before reading this (and now know only marginally more…), but I thought it was a pretty interesting piece, introducing not only the site itself, some of the issues it has been involved in, and some of the main activists driving it, but also more broadly gives a sense of its operations, plugged in as it is with left-leaning and libertarian politicians, businessmen, and technologists, international differences in privacy and transparency legislation, and a combination of off-the-shelf tools and hand-crafted technologies.
3. Peter Kafka’s notes on Richard Rosenblatt and Paul Steiger at D8, talking about Demand Media and ProPublica
Below two exchanges cribbed from the Q&A,
Question for Rosenblatt: Why won’t you call your people “journalists”? Steve Jobs was full of venom for “bloggers,” too. Why not call people who write for money “journalists”?
Rosenblatt: If our writers want to call themselves journalists, great. But they’re not doing reporting from Afghanistan. We’re content creators, making things that people want.
Question for Steiger: Do you share Steve Jobs’s distaste for bloggers?
Steiger: I sleep with a blogger!