Friday Quick Reads
My latest Webside chat with my colleague David Baker is on EidosMedia’s site. David and I do these every month or so; they’re distillations and amplifications of the themes explored daily here on the blog. David always asks very good questions and I struggle to keep up.
ESPN.com’s Jim Caple asks what the loss of so many baseball beat writers will mean for fans. Caple’s writing about baseball, but his take will be of interest to anyone concerned about journalism and the changing ecosystem of mainstream press, blogs and other new forms of commentary and news coverage. As Steven Berlin Johnson put it in his talk at SXSW, sports is part of online news’ “old-growth forest,” so it’s an excellent place to look for clues about how things will play out elsewhere in the journalism world. Extra points to Caple for a discussion of mainstream press coverage and blogs that’s even-handed and fair-minded.
Lots of interesting thoughts about classifieds, display advertising and other things that could use a reinvention at Revenue 2.0.
Jay Rosen has a “flying seminar” on journalism’s future that’s an excellent overview of current thinking about where we might be going. And all this is just from March. It was really quite a month!
Finally, this take (in PDF form) on newspapers’ futures, from Mitchell Madison Group’s Arnon Mishkin. The late Harvard professor Theodore Levitt famously said that railroad companies died because “they thought they were in the railroad business, not the transportation business,” and that aphorism has become an article of faith in discussions of technological change. Mishkin argues that Leavitt was wrong, and railroads were lucky to avoid the airline business: “Transportation may have been a wonderful business on rails and sea, but it has proven a dreadful business in the air.”