“Consciously uncoupling”: Where does the relationship between publishers and platforms stand now?

At the GEN Summit in Portugal, Emily Bell teased research from Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism conducted over the past two years on the relationship between technology platforms and journalism. (The full results will be announced in two weeks.) The research draws on surveys from over a thousand American and Canadian respondents, 94 percent of which were local newsrooms. The American Press Institute helped develop the surveys, and NORC at the University of Chicago conducted them. “Newsrooms feel distrustful of social media,” Bell said. “But if you look at data of how they’re using platforms we’ll see a different picture.”

Emily Bell thinks public service media today has its most important role to play since World War II

The ability of the media to secure democracy is being challenged by great disruptions: ad funding doesn’t work that well anymore and large, non-transparent platforms are increasingly central in our information flow. Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia, thinks public service media may be about to play its most important role since World War II. Facebook and Google have taken over not only an increasing share of the attention, but also much of the ad market. This has taken away another large chunk of the revenue that supports journalism, following classified ads in the unbundling of the business model that once made newspapers a thriving business. The rise of subscription models and paywalls has begun to inject fresh money in some media houses, but those who aren’t subscribing to journalistic media could be left worse off. It’s no longer a matter of picking Continue reading "Emily Bell thinks public service media today has its most important role to play since World War II"

Advertisers no longer need publishers. Should publishers give up on them?

“What is the future of the relationship between publishers and advertisers? And how can platforms, news publishers, and advertisers ensure a robust future for news publishers by shaping the quality of advertising?” These questions are addressed in “The Future of Advertising and Publishing,” a report released Monday by Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, the Digital Initiative at Harvard Business School, and the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. It sums up an event that took place back in October; we wrote up an afternoon panel that was open to the public, but the report released this week focuses on a closed, invite-only morning discussion. Some thoughts from the discussion: — In 2006, $49 billion in advertising went toward newspaper revenues in the United States, Tow’s Emily Bell writes in an introduction; “by 2016, the equivalent amount was Continue reading "Advertisers no longer need publishers. Should publishers give up on them?"

Maybe the future of American news publishing is…Europe? (and other bleak ad-related scenarios)

“It feels to me as though America is becoming more European,” said Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. “It’s saying the not-for-profit sector has a real place in publishing, not just a sort of patch to get from here to the next profitable model. And then it’s asking, please, Europe, help us with the regulation.” This was in the middle of a free-wheeling discussion at Harvard Business School Friday, “The Future of Advertising and Publishing: Finding New Revenue Models for Journalism in the Digital Age.” The afternoon’s first panel was moderated by Bell and brought together Kinsey Wilson, digital strategist at The New York Times; David Carroll, associate professor of media design at The New School’s Parsons School of Design; and Nicco Mele, director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, for Continue reading "Maybe the future of American news publishing is…Europe? (and other bleak ad-related scenarios)"

How The New York Times, CNN, and The Huffington Post approach publishing on platforms

Publishing used to be relatively simple. You published a newspaper once a day or produced a nightly newscast. Even with the advent of the Internet things were fairly straightforward: You had a website and posted your coverage there. But as platforms — from Facebook and Snapchat to messaging platforms such as Kik and Line — become more ubiquitous, news organizations now have to decide where they want to publish and how they want to present their coverage on these platforms. A study out this week from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University examines how platforms have changed journalism, and while the entire 25,455-word report is worth reading, one particularly interesting section looks at how news outlets are choosing to publish (or not publish) across a variety of platforms. The report compares how The New York Times, CNN, and The Huffington Post utilized platforms during a week in
Continue reading "How The New York Times, CNN, and The Huffington Post approach publishing on platforms"

“Behind every tweet is a story,” and journalists’ other advice for new journalism students

You might not know it from the 90-degree weather, but fall is approaching, and that means it’s time to go back to school. On Monday evening, Emily Bell, a professor at the Columbia School of Journalism and director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, asked her Twitter followers for their best advice is for new student journalists. Bell is preparing a lecture on the changes in the journalism industry for the Columbia School of Journalism class of 2016, and many of the best responses to her tweet focused on that theme. From Drake Martinet, VP of product at Vice Media: