From Tiananmen Square on CNN (1989) to sources going direct from Tehran (2009): the rebooted system for news is already here. CNN did not seem to grasp this, or maybe it just doesn’t care.
The endless cycle in technology journalism: a new press arises to cover a new platform that the “old” industry never expected. Then it becomes cozy with the vendors of the new thing. Which opens the way for the next press to rise from the (rebel) users of the new platform, who see the established press as dull defenders of technology that needed replacement and live schmoozers with the powers that be.
How does the cycle get broken? The magazines would have had to say: we know the price of a Steve Jobs cover, and we have decided never to pay that price, so… no Steve Jobs covers!
Or. Steve Jobs would have to say, “I’m a source going direct. Read what I have to say at my blog because I say it to everyone. No exclusive interviews. No backstage peaks. If you wanna know what I think, ask me a question. If I haven’t already done so, I will answer it at my blog. Not for you, The Journalist, but for anyone who reads my site. And they will read my site. I’m Steve Jobs. I run Apple. I talk directly to the people who buy my products and they hold me accountable.”
Both of these things are unlikely. That’s when the cycle kicks in again. It’s happening to Tech Crunch now. Still good, but more and more the voice of the VC.
Look what Obama appears to have done with his Israel policy. Assuming Laura Rozen is correct:
According to many observers in Washington and Israel, the Israeli prime minister, looking for loopholes and hidden agreements that have often existed in the past with Washington, has been flummoxed by an unusually united line that has come not just from the Obama White House and the secretary of state, but also from pro-Israel congressmen and women who have come through Israel for meetings with him over Memorial Day recess. To Netanyahu’s dismay, Obama doesn’t appear to have a hidden policy. It is what he said it was.
If you don’t have a hidden policy, the press can’t be the savvy insiders with knowledge of that policy. When attachment to heavyweight sources doesn’t win you anything all that great, where are you going to attach? To the users and their needs! This is how we break the cycle.
Dave’s turn to do sources of inspiration (for a rebooted system of news) This week it’s a company: Amazon.com. You’ll have to listen to find out why.
Finally, the newsroom as cafe. Dave and Jay discuss the cafe-based news organization as a fertile image for newsroom next.
Let us know what you think.
Update: Dan Conover transcribed one of the funnier moments from the podcast.
reboot09Jun15.mp3 (binary/octet-stream, 10.5MB)
Monday, June 15, 2009.