Another Attempt To Reinvent What A 'News' Provider Really Should Provide

from the about-time dept

We’ve been talking quite a bit lately about the news industry, all too often focusing on journalists (or former journalists) whining about the old days or making ridiculous or downright bizarre proposals for how to turn back time. Many of these are based on a faulty understanding of either economics or the very past they long to return to — which never really existed in the first place.

Rather than pining for a mythical past, however, folks in the newspaper business should be looking at new opportunities and new models that are making themselves available every day. It starts by forgetting that they’re “newspapers” and focusing instead on what real business they’re in. That also means recognizing that the definition of “news” is different these days than it was in the past. When you had limited sources of information and only a few ways to get news, news was “big” stories that couldn’t be covered elsewhere. But those big stories are everywhere these days, and newspapers don’t add any additional value to those stories. Instead, “news” is a much more personalized experience, with different people valuing different types of “news” and information in very different ways. This is why teenagers have already shifted to sources that provide news that’s actually relevant to them.

Based on all of this, it’s good to see new companies springing up that are trying to take on this challenge. The buzz today is about the launch of Everyblock, a new “hyperlocal” news provider that recognizes “news” is different to different people — and things like what building permits are being requested and what restaurants are being inspected may be news if they’re on your block or places you go to regularly. It’s no surprise that this company was started by Adrian Holovaty, whose ideas on how to reinvent the news business we discussed a few years ago. For years, he tried to put many of these ideas into practice within the framework of some traditional newspapers, so now it’ll be interesting to see how well it goes from the point of view of a brand new startup.

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Companies: everyblock

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Comments on “Another Attempt To Reinvent What A 'News' Provider Really Should Provide”

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Clouser (user link) says:


I wish them luck. We as the people need to be circumsized from the dirty cheese that is the mainstream media (MSM). Individual thought and rights are threatened under our nose (and bellies) by the MSM, a corporate and government controlled channel designed to keep us in check. Personalized (Individualized) news is one way out and needs embraced in whatever form it is innovated in.

Mary Ann Chick Whiteside says:

survival of news business

The key to survival is dividing the huge collections of information hidden in city halls and government centers and then letting people easilly search -and find- what they want to know when they want

The smart journalists will be those who can read those collections of data and tell me/us about trends, suggest how I should judge that information and alert us to new types of information I need to look at

I can’t become an expert on everything so data alone is only a start.

Just as smart journalists choose the right tool and medium to tell a story so must smart businesses need to realize their niches.

Alimas says:


The MSM doesn’t provide much in the way of news anymore per se. Its kind of a soap opera, getting an exclusive story anybody cares about is real uncommon in these days of mass communication, so instead the networks try to sensationalize and present the story almost like a movie.
My disgusting local news station gives news about murders in California (I’m in NH) long before it says anything about my local politicians.
And the ignorant public eats it up…

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