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the Big Blog Company | Rupert’s warning
“Who yer callin' a sparrow, you schmuck?!”
The bird on the back.
April 18 2005
Monday
Rupert’s warning
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Journalism 
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A must read blog post by Jeff Jarvis about Rupert Murdoch’s important speech and warning to the American Society of Newspaper Editors telling them that papers are whistling in their own graveyard and recommending some solutions, including even blogs:

...these new [digital] natives want news on demand, they want news to be relevant, they want a point of view (hello, FoxNews), they want news that affects their lives, they want the option to get more information and points of view, and they want to join in the debate.

He also mentions Merrill Brown’s report for Carnegie whose conclusions were quoted by Murdoch.

What is happening right before us is, in short, a revolution in the way young people are accessing news. They don’t want to rely on the morning paper for their up-to-date information. They don’t want to rely on a God-like figure from above to tell them what’s important. And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly don’t want news presented as gospel.

Instead, they want their news on demand, when it works for them. They want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it. They want to question, to probe, to offer a different angle.

Most importantly, Murdoch gets to the heart of the matter when he says that technology isn’t the problem - attitude is.

What I worry about much more is our ability to make the necessary cultural changes to meet the new demands of the digital native. I said earlier, what is required is a complete transformation of the way we think about our product and the Internet itself. Unfortunately, however, I believe too many of us editors and reporters are out of touch with our readers. Too often, the question we ask is “Do we have the story?” rather than “Does anyone want the story?”

And the data support this unpleasant truth. Studies show we’re in an odd position: We’re more trusted by the people who aren’t reading us. And when you ask journalists what they think about their readers, the picture grows darker. According to one recent study, the percentage of national journalists who have a great deal of confidence in the ability of the American public to make good decisions has declined by more than 20 points since 1999. Perhaps this reflects their personal politics and personal prejudices more than anything else, but it is disturbing.

This is a polite way of saying that reporters and editors think their readers are stupid. ...

Newspapers whose employees look down on their readers can have no hope of ever succeeding as a business.

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