.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, January 20, 2006

News businesses

In 1999, I made the prediction that generalized news would disappear and be replaced by "narrowband" and local news only. By narrowband, I mean news about a very specific industry like video games or home improvement technology. By local news, I meant news about your local geographic area.

That means the LA Times, for example, might be 75% about what's going on within the Los Angeles metro area, 20% about big things going on in California, and 5% about even bigger things going on in the Western US (mostly in how these things affect Los Angeles).

So if there's an earthquake in Central California, the LA Times might have a detailed article about an aquaduct feeding into LA being damaged but not about the earthquake itself. It would have links to (yes, this would mostly be online and not printed paper) the local news sites where the earthquake struck as well as geological news sites which cover earthquakes in general. It might link into Washington DC news sites that cover whether the president will declare the area a disaster area and provide funding.

I'd expect all news sources of the future to have two parts.
  1. Gathering of news in their own small area of expertise (local geography and/or narrow subject).
  2. Gathering all the needed links to relevant sources for each news item.
This is very much how blogs are evolving right now. So it may be that newspapers, television news, and generalized news magazines are going the way of the horse and buggy... well they definitely will if they don't adapt.

Here's a great article which talks in excellent pragmatic detail about how to transform local newspapers and why.

So I believe the best plan of investment is to watch for any well-run news organizations which make these changes aggressively.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?