links for 2009-05-20

  • Kevin: An excellent article in the Economist about the news business, not just the newspaper business and its well documented woes, but changes in the news business across sectors and media. Here is a key finding: "Technology has enabled well-informed people to become even better informed but has not broadened the audience for news. The Pew Centre’s most alarming finding, for anybody who works in the trade, is that the share of 18- to 24-year-olds who got no news at all the previous day has risen from 25% to 34% in the past ten years."
  • Kevin: " Twitter is working on various ways to make money from its fast-growing microblogging service, but advertising is an option that is not currently being considered.

    Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said on Monday that the company is developing various add-on tools and services for the businesses and professional users of Twitter, which could create a revenue stream for the company. He said Twitter plans to introduce some of these tools by year end."

  • Kevin: Mart Potts looks at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which charges $60 a year for an online subscription. Owner/Publisher Walter E. Hussman Jr. is getting calls from other newspaper publishers frantically trying to salvage their businesses. But Mark is a bit sceptical that the the Democrat-Gazette's model is one that can be generalised. Mark is thoughtful and nuanced, something that is sorely lacking in too many debates. His big concern is that Hussman's strategy of defending the print product is short-sighted and can't be sustained, and it hasn't protected the newspaper from the downturn. "But I worry that the Democrat-Gazette publisher is being fatally short-sighted. Hs strategy may be propping up circulation, but print advertising revenue is declining precipitously, even in Little Rock—even with its against-the-grain strategy, the paper has had to do two rounds of layoffs since the first of the year. "