Friday, February 27, 2015

Universities and entrepreneurship don´t always mix

Versión en español

BRISTOL, England -- A few years ago, I was on a team designing a master's degree in digital journalism. The university required that we propose three areas of research for the professors in this program to pursue.

One subject area we proposed was new business models for news. Another was the use of social networks in distribution of news. I forget the third. All three were rejected by the university's academic authority because they were not on the list of approved areas of research, and it appeared that we could not launch the program.

However, we appealed to the vice chancellor, who persuaded the academic authorities that an innovative university program could (and should) include areas of research not on the approved list.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Reader loyalty gains strength as a news metric

Michael McCutcheon of
As the publisher of a business newspaper in Baltimore, I used to tell advertisers confidently that no other news medium could duplicate our audience of CEOs, business owners, and high-income decision makers.

First Yahoo Finance undermined us. With their user database, they could deliver advertisers the same people who were reading our newspaper, plus many with that profile who were not.

Now social networks like Facebook are using their data to do the same thing. They can promise to deliver that same targeted audience a lot cheaper.

This is bad news for news publishers, especially since they have become more dependent on Facebook and other social networks for their Internet traffic. Publishers have a harder time establishing the value of their brand to advertisers.

Pew Research reported in 2014 that 30 percent of U.S. adults get news from Facebook. That percentage has been growing, and other social networks, such as LinkedIn, are trying to become publishers, not just platforms, as Mathew Ingram of Gigaom has reported.