23:29 PM

UK Diary: Tuesday - Guardian Newspaper Media Panel . . .


We left BT and managed to hail a few black cabs amid the rain and made our way over to the Guardian newspaper for a panel on the future of media.

I was thinking that maybe the death of newspapers is just nature's way of helping us all to reduce our carbon footprint.

Some of our fellow Traveling Geeks were on the panel, our Geeketes were at the front of the room, which must have had a distracting effect (see photo - by JD Lasica) while the rest of us were mostly at the back Twittering onto a big screen at the front of the room.

Here was my take on it, an extract from: A Guardian Newspaper Media Panel, Twitter, From Back to Front And Beyond...

The Butcher of Fleet Street

I was sitting at the back of the room next to fellow TGer Craig Newmark of Craigslist. And inevitably, the panel's moderator couldn't resist asking him to stand up and explain himself for killing the newspaper industry.

Craig is mightily fed up with this question. And I agree. It is not his fault that the newspaper industry is in trouble. But Craig handled it all very well, throwing in a line "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition," which drew laughs and distracted the panel from further pursuit of a tired line of questioning and drew the discussion back to the favorite subject of the day: Twitter.

Ayelet Noff posted a video of the event:


Here is JD Lasica:

The podcast just went live. Stream or download (Time 51:13):

(You can also listen to it, naturally, on the Guardian site.)

A few highlights

The entire 51 minutes is well worth a listen -- I think it's one of the smartest podcasts I've been a part of. A few snippets:

• I returned to the problem of newspaper culture that punishes, rather than rewards, experimentation, innovation and failure (without which innocation is impossible). But harping on newspapers' failures is like shooting dinosaurs in a barrel.

• Sarah Lacy suggested that we may see 10 metropolitan cities without a daily newspaper by the end of the year. (I think the time frame is more likely on the order of two to three years.)

Time for innovative news models

Here is Jeff Saperstein:

...The Barbarians are at the Gates in every sector of the communications industry. Advertising agencies are being decimated by the Google model, Encyclopedias and paid resource media have been annihilated by Wikipedia, Network television conglomerates have been supplanted by Cable subscription channels and digital narrowcasting, and the movie studios are enraged by You Tube and other web sources to download feature films outside the movie theatres, on and on with the music industry and I-Tunes , etc.

In other words, the journalism industry is not unique in its economic viability being challenged. The Internet/digital media content delivery model is not just a hiccup, but a tectonic shift. Our Traveling Geeks are players and informed commentators in that shift.

The Guardian Dialogues « Traveling Geeks in London

Here are some of my Tweets during the event:

- Blogging and traditional media have a lot in common - lack of a viable business model :)

- Paper or electron is shouldn't matter. Newspapers need to transition into news services imho...

- The media is dead long live the media! We have more media in more forms today than at anytime in history!

- Newspapers have been communicating in 140 characters or less for hundreds of years: In news headlines!

- The panel has seems to have an "us verus them" attitude. Surely media today is about "us and them" which is a good thing

- If a blogger blogs in the blogosphere does anybody blog it? Takes time to build an audience

- Blogs build credibility over time, they don't get it just by being. It takes time to build a media brand

- Bloggers aren't all very free wheeling, they have reputations to defend just the same as regular media

- News has always been a collaborative venture, taking the story further. Why should it be a problem today?

- Why is there a distinction being made between blogger media and newspaper media? It's all media.

Next stop on this rainy Tuesday: Soho and Agency.com dinner