Stel dat The NY Times failliet gaat – in mei

7 januari 2009 Geen categorie 1

Times van 7 januari 2009Kranten verdwijnen niet – als ze zich aanpassen. Ondanks alle sombere vooruitzichten denken de meeste analisten dat dagbladen nog jaren de tijd hebben om zichzelf om te vormen van papieren reuzen in flexibele multimediale nieuwsbedrijven. Maar stel nu eens dat dat niet zo is, dat PCM er niet in was geslaagd Thieme van de hand te doen, dat een donderslag The New York Times treft, en de beste krant ter wereld kopje onder gaat, laten we zeggen komende mei. Wat dan? De vraag wordt in de Atlantic opgeworpen door Michael Hirschhorn. In End Times portretteert die journalist The New York Times. Beladen met schulden, het gloednieuwe pand beleend, dalende oplage, groeiende, zeer succesvolle site met helaas onvoldoende inkomsten om de volledige staf van de krant te kunnen betalen.

Regardless of what happens over the next few months, The Times is destined for significant and traumatic change. At some point soon—sooner than most of us think—the print edition, and with it The Times as we know it, will no longer exist.

Maar er is een uitweg:

Forced to make a Web-based strategy profitable, a reconstructed Web site could start mixing original reportage with Times-endorsed reporting from other outlets with straight-up aggregation. This would allow The Times to continue to impose its live-from-the-Upper-West-Side brand on the world without having to literally cover every inch of it. In an optimistic scenario, the remaining reporters—now reporters-cum-bloggers, in many cases—could use their considerable savvy to mix their own reporting with that of others, giving us a more integrative, real-time view of the world unencumbered by the inefficiencies of the traditional journalistic form.

Ook interessant: een verhaal van Jack Shafer in het online magazine Slate over de manier waarop kranten omgingen met het web. Dagbladsites zagen eruit als dagbladen, concludeert Shafer:

Newspapers deserve bragging rights for having homesteaded the Web long before most government agencies and major corporations knew what a URL was. Given the industry’s early tenancy, deep pockets, and history of paranoid experimentation with new communication forms, one would expect to find plenty in the way of innovations and spinoffs.

But that’s not the case, and I think I know why: From the beginning, newspapers sought to invent the Web in their own image by repurposing the copy, values, and temperament found in their ink-and-paper editions. Despite being early arrivals, despite having spent millions on manpower and hardware, despite all the animations, links, videos, databases, and other software tricks found on their sites, every newspaper Web site is instantly identifiable as a newspaper Web site. By succeeding, they failed to invent the Web.

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