Thursday, March 13, 2008

'What we have is a business model problem'

"I see tremendous energy going in to breaking new ground in gathering news, telling stories and creating community. What I don't see is an equivalent amount of innovation occurring around the business models that will support journalism going forward," writes Merc business writer Chris O'Brien on PBS's Idea Lab site.
    "There is an enormous, untapped opportunity for innovation around the business model. This is where the conversation needs to go."
Newspapers have been putting their stories online for more than a decade, hoping that their online operations would provide the kind of revenues their print side used to provide. It isn't working out.
    "More people read the content of the Mercury News than ever. And technology represents an opportunity to deepen our connection with those readers and enhance our impact on their lives.

    "What we have is a business model problem. Even as our audience has exploded, our revenues have cratered."
O'Brien notes that TV is having a similar problem as people begin to watch shows on their computers.
    "There is an enormous, untapped opportunity for innovation around the business model. This is where the conversation needs to go.
(Photo credit: PBS.org Idea Lab)

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