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.