Sunday, January 21, 2007
Journalism Now Subject to Moore's law
Using fossil fuel for distributing yesterdays news printed on dead trees will not remain a sustainable value proposition. We all know it, and the birth pangs of the new news industry can be felt all over the world. Established newspapers are changing owners like never before in modern times, the LA Times being the latest - but certainly not the last - monolith to go on the auction block.
The ad-based newspaper is a classic business model which has served society during the past two centuries with only minor changes. Printing and distribution technologies have improved, as have the tools used by journalists and marketers. But the basic principles have remained. So it is hardly surprising that large parts of the newspaper industry are unfamiliar with R&D departments and lack a true innovation culture. Something they will need more and more.
We can only speculate at this time how the new news industry will look like, but one thing we know for sure: any tool or solution introduced today will need to be replaced in a very short time. By going on the Internet, the news industry has become subject to Moore's law (things entering the market in two years time will have double the capacity of the stuff being released today).
Many newsrooms are bothered by introducing new tools and routines. They better start enjoying it, because as from now, as soon as they have made a change, they need start planning for changing it again.
The news industry is about to join the family of R&D-intensive innovation industries. Can the old news industry do it? Those who don't risk being toppled by the new kids on the block.