Thursday, May 29, 2014

12 revenue sources for digital news organizations

Versión en español.

So much innovation is occurring on the revenue side of new digital media that it's time to review, update and aggregate. Some of the material has appeared in this blog before. 

Let´s start with the basics.

1. Create community, don't just publish news. An audience is just a group of observers.  A community shares values and a deep interest in a topic or geographic area. It often has a bias toward action. That is where value comes in.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Narrative in Latin America: conscience and credibility

Versión en español.

For a class on narrative techniques here in Mexico, I was looking for examples of the kind of writing you find in New Yorker. The magazine Gatopardo has that reputation.

Alejandro Almazán. Photo:
It was there I found the story of "A hapless narco" ("Un narco sin suerte) by Alejandro Almazan and immediately got hooked.  It tells the story of one J.R., a singer of corridos, traditional songs that tell stories of heroes and villains based on real people and events.

J.R. and his family are living a quiet life up in the mountains when he hears about the fortunes being made in the illegal drug trade by people in Culiacan, in northwestern Mexico. He decides he wants a piece of that. But his every attempt fails for reasons that are by turns hilarious and frightening.

The story is perfect in every detail. So perfect, in fact, that I wondered if this were really journalism or fiction. The magazine gave it a journalistic label: "reportaje," which is definitely not fiction.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

An optimistic book about the collapse of print media

Bernardo Diaz Nosty published a book last year that chronicled the sad history of the collapse of print media in the developed world over the past 70 years.

It wasn't bad enough that revenues had tanked and readers had fled, he said. The worst part was that news media had lost their credibility. Being the optimist that he is, he believes that credibility can be recovered by a return to the ethical principles of high-quality journalism.

The importance of ethics to the future of journalism has lately become a theme developed by many, including the French journalist Jean-François Fogel.

Diaz Nosty is head of the journalism department at the University of Malaga in Spain, and his book has the title (translated) The Press in the New Information Ecosystem: 'Stop the Presses!' (La prensa en el nuevo ecosistema informativo "Que paren las rotativas" it's available free in PDF from the publisher, Fundacion Telefonica). I heard him talk at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico as part of a press tour of Latin America promoting the book.