Answer: The press has lost money for large periods of its existence. We have the support of lots of wealthy people who want to buy influence. But we do have digital journalism orgs that make money. Few of them are on the scale of the NY Times. But there will never be the money to support the fixed cost basis that has been the legacy biz model
We have an oversupply of media without the advertising support to cover it. There must be downsizing and shifting of costs
Question: Michael Valpe
28% of Guardian's revenues are from digital. Canadian figures are at 12%. Why is the guardian so far ahead?
Answer: because of aggressive digital expansion. Those papers with revenues of over 20% have sales forces that are trying to get diversified revenue streams into digital.
question: Clair Ward, webeditor at Macleans
what does an integrated newsroom look like?
Answer: What it doesn't look like is developers and distributors at every desk. you have to have spaces where people can see eachother. it doesn't look like a place where every desk has a print person telling web people what to do.
You have to acknowledge that they may work on different cycles.
Followup question: marrying developer side with editorial side--how to?
"an integrated newsroom looks digital"
Answer: pairing them works well--they have specific skills, they are a team, there is general understanding of output with specialized input from each member of the team. Coders understand that it is important to do journalism that arrives on time, editorial staff understands that it needs to "look digital"
Question: Matthew Brega
Does there need to be more in house development and innovation?
Answer: If you put your fate in the hands of the commercial sector (facebook etc.) what happens when things go wrong, i.e. if you don't have control over the system, what happens when the system fails?
Journalist organizations need to have native tech teams working in house to succeed online
Question: David Skok
Integration vs. Incubation--what about TBD.com being reabsorbed into parent company?
TBD's publisher left, they were folded into the local TV station, and they are to become an entertainment site
The case highlighted the tensions between a legacy business and a digital business
how did leadership change at the guardian?
Answer: Emily Bell had an external profile and political capital that legitimized her decisions. But she also needed upper management that was willing to prioritize digital media. Unless tbe boardroom is willing to take the leap, then digital will not survive
moment in online news history: Telegraph owned data on UK MP expense scandal, so The Guardian reached out to constituents for supplementary coverage.
The Guardian's coverage of the MP expense scandal: a crowdsourcing success
What is the wildest idea that you didn't try??
There were bad ideas that she did try--but she doesn't want to commit to this on the record. She's sure that her students have better ideas than her--what are the various tools that can be built around the wikileaks dataset, for instance?
Perhaps the silliest idea: a TV show based on twitter--news in 140 characters...hilarious!
1)what metrics would you use right now to measure the effectiveness of a journalist
2) how should journalists be compensated
I wouldn't work out such a metric--there are some such metrics.
If you look at the AOL Way, it is very measured about what you are expected to produce and what you will be paid, but was based on quantity, which is a poor metric. Engagement is a good metric--but they also said that they will pay journalists based on how many "followers" they have.
Journalist compensation: when they are good, and develop a "sticky audience" you have people like Andrew Sullivan who can transfer from the blogosphere to other media.
This is not about algorithms and machines, but about good human judgment.
For journalists who have worked exclusively in print, what investment should they be making, or is it ok just to write and let someone else worry about how to put it on the web?
I think if you want a long career in journalism, you need to worry about how people are reading your work. Skillsets and mindets are different--if you are not thinking about who is reading your stuff, your editor should be worried. You need to think about getting a following and how to distribute your content. If you aren't doing that, you aren't going to have a long or successful career as a journalist.
Question: Heather Mallick
Visuals: British websites have great visuals--is a visual element required to transfer a print paper to the web?
Heather Malick: "the Guardian makes me feel smart, and the Daily Mail makes me feel psychotic." But she enjoys both.
YES. Visuals are key to how you present things.
One more question:
is the redesigning of print editions for digital an exercise in futility? Should print journalism be driving traffic to the web?
I will sign off by saying this was a fantastic and informative event (as usual with Samara/Massey), and RIP Jim Travers of the Toronto Star, who died today. Canadian journalism lost a titan of a voice.
Answer: If you are only interested in driving traffic to the web, then why even print a newspaper? But there might be an exciting future for print--but we might not know what that looks like.
Closing remarks from Jeff Warren
Thinking about being a future historian--The decisions that Emily Bell and others make right now don't just shape journalism, but the very way we interact as a world
The evening has been embedded and cached--i.e. immortalized--here!
There's one more talk in the works--Martin Niesenholtz, senior VP of digital of the Gray Lady
Now, we're all off to Massey College for a drink, thanks so much for being part of our first live blog!