Even more on the Kindle

I'm not sure why I'm so interested in the release of the new Kindle, but it appears Slate is as well.  Over the weekend, they published another article on the portable reading device: "How the Kindle will change the world."  The article by Jacob Weisberg doesn't say much that the other articles (here and here) didn't, except to strike a sunnier note:  while the potential rise of Kindle might make it harder for writers and independent publishers to make money, there's every reason to think that the opposite might happen, that it could "spur new forms while breathing life into old ones."  He doesn't say

ESSAY: Media reformers propose $200 tax break for newspaper subscribers; news literacy in schools

In a groundbreaking essay, two of the United States' most prominent media reformers are calling for a $200-a-year tax credit for subscribers to daily newspapers, reduced megazine postal rates and news-literacy ducation in schools as methods for sustaining journalism.

In an article in the forthcoming edition of The Nation magazine, already
posted online, John Nichols and Robert McChesny write, "We confess that we do not have all the answers. Neither, we have discovered, does anyone else."

Advertising vs. Paid Content

A guest post written by Eric Clemons on TechCrunch, "Why Advertising is Failing on the Internet," predicts that online advertising will continue to fall:  "It’s not that we no longer need information to initiate or to complete a transaction; rather, we will no longer need advertising to obtain that information.  We will see the information we want, when we want it, from sources that we trust more than paid advertising." He also breaks down his scenarios for making money online.

New Profiles on Tracy Record and Bob Gough

We've added two new profiles to our database:  Tracy Record from West Seattle Blog and Bob Gough from QuincyNews.org.  These are both pioneers in the local online news field.  Much of the information in these profiles was excerpted from Jane Steven's ReJurno (she and MGP's Bill Densmore are both fellows at the Reynolds Journalism Institute this year).  Researching the Record profile, I found this YouTube video clip from Flip the Media--it's a fun and quirky behind-the-scenes look at the West Seattle Blog family and their house.

Vint Cerf on the Internet

Media Giraffe has added another video to the archives.  Here, Vint Cerf, Vice President and Internet Evangelist for Google, talks about the infrastructure of the Internet and his role in helping develop that structure. Cerf also talks about the egalitarian nature of the Internet and its function in a democracy. 

The Media Giraffe Project’s Bill Densmore conducted the interview in August 2005. Below is a condensed, 9 minute version.  A full length version will be added to the site soon.  In the meanwhile, view it here.

 

Google CEO takes a look at funding models

On March 6, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was on Charlie Rose, where he talked about funding (including the figure that 98% of Google revenue comes from advertising).  MGP's Bill Densmore blogged about the interview:

"Google CEO Eric Schmidt has laid out his vision for the three principal ways information will be financed in a digital age. His answer, not surprisingly: Advertising, micropayments and subscriptions. What’s notable is his particular take on where each method can be most effectively deployed."  Read the rest here.

More notes on the future of newspapers

Bill Densmore (MGP's Director, who is spending the year as a Reynolds Fellow at the University of Missouri-Columbia) recently typed up notes from a presentation there about the future of newspapers.  In the notes, Doug Crews and Vicki Russell, both Missouri newspaper people, offer up their advice.

Positive outlook for local news sites

For some positive news:  David Westphal recently posted a story on OJR covering how local news sites have been affected by the recession.  The verdict (gathered word of mouth, through interviews) was that things look good so far.  The article includes interviews with giraffe prospects West Seattle Blog, Baristanet, New West, and others.

Kindle update

Update on 2/24 Kindle post:  Slate Magazine put out another article last week on the Kindle: "The amazing Amazon Kindle is bad news for the publishing industry." The point it makes (Kindle could give Amazon control over the book industry, and while they are paying publishers well for the electronic books right now, if they have a monopoly, they could charge what they wanted, potentially wiping out money that before had gone to writers, bookstores, and book publishers) would be applicable to newspapers, too, if they became popular on the Kindle.  So while an electronic reader like Kindle might seem like a useful (small) revenue source for newspapers right now, it could mean more bad news in the future.

Hearst newspapers tapping citizen journalists

It was reported this week that Hearst Newspapers would start carrying content from the citizen journalist website Helium.  Lincoln Millstein, senior VP for digital media at Hearst, said in a statement that this would help reduce costs:  “Sourcing Helium’s top-notch writers will allow us to continue to deliver superior local and lifestyle content to our readers while also taking the necessary steps to get our costs in line with today’s economic realities.”

This story made me think back to an earlier interview I did with Michael Tippett of NowPublic, another citizen journalist website.  NowPublic was

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