Yep, Perry and I are still in LA. One of the nice things about being here is that - with the torrential downpours and landslides (hopefully) over for the time being - we get to have meetings outside in the sunshine.
And so it was on Tuesday, when we worked on our tans (yeah, as if pasty white London dwellers ever get tan) while talking to stellar film journalist David Poland of Movie City News and Hot Blog. David’s been blogging at the latter since the autumn of last year, and in that time has broken a fair number of stories on his blog. And he told me and Perry that when big media outlets pick up on his scoops, they will never cite his blog as a source - it’s always “an online report” with no actual credit given. Amazing, especially coming from people who see fit to lecture bloggers about how they need to sharpen their journalism skills.
I had a similar problem with the Guardian newspaper here in Britain, when they picked up two different scoops from one of my blogs and refused to cite the source. Instead, they attributed the items to “an internet website” (as opposed to those websites you get in places other than the internet...I guess). I got an apology from an editor, but never any sort of clarification - and it happened not once, but twice. This was more than a year ago, and the Guardian has some clever sticks on board now who actually do understand a lot about blogging - Simon Waldman, Neil McIntosh, and Bobbie Johnson amongst them - so one would hope that they now understand that scoops grabbed from blogs do actually count.
I think that the only news publishers who will be able to charge are those with extremely narrow and unique content niches. For everyone else, the benefits of being reachable in a Google-driven world outweigh what can be gained from subscription revenues. That’s because the network makes it so easy to find similar or the same information elsewhere for free.
Further testament to the fact that the mass market is dead, to be replaced by a mass of niches. If that’s not news that’s fit to print, I don’t know what is.