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This is a post I wrote on August 19, 2007, back when I was trying to decide what I truly wanted to blog about. I’d started a blog called “Newsworthy or Not?” and later abandoned it as I found that community management was what I really wanted to focus on.

However, a recent request by a college professor to include some content from that old blog in her upcoming textbook on Public Relations led me back to it. Quite honestly, Id’ forgotten all about it.

So, I came across this post that I’m sharing here with the hopes that it might resonate with some, even today. And though it isn’t really the focus of this blog, everyone needs to find their story. It’s what makes you unique.

If you’re active across social media channels, your story is what  you share with the masses. Your story is how you engage. And caring about the stories of others is how you pay it forward.

So read on, and I hope this helps in some small way.

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You probably know by now that Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch are teaming up to create a newspaper for the ipad. Given the projected growth of the ipad, this seems like a smart business move.  And since they’re both millionaire or maybe billionaire businessmen, it is  likely to succeed.

As a journalist, I want nothing more than for people to consume news. And as one who has seen so many of my friends and co-workers lose their jobs over the last three years, I know how important it is for people to pay for the news they consume, even though that practice is pretty much extinct, at least for general-interest mainstream news.

Because of that, I find this idea very intriguing. It’s a new revenue source by which to pay the journalists doing the reporting, writing and editing with none of the expensive overhead that comes with printing presses and the like.

And with no print or web edition, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. The lack of a print edition doesn’t surprise me at all,  since so many newspapers have nixed their print editions. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has been web-only for over a year now, and  so has the Christian Science Monitor and both are claiming success.

But there’s something about the lack of an online edition that doesn’t sit right with me. It just seems a bit odd. And I also wonder if people will pay .99 for something they can get free online.

According to reports, Murdoch has hired 100 journalists and has top-notch editors on board. So with that being the case, maybe there will be some content that you can’t get elsewhere online.

I think there would have  to be for this to work.

But that’s how I feel today and that could change. If it does. you’ll be the first to know. This is definitely a big story I will follow very closely, because if it works, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of it.

RELATED POSTS

This is a cross-post from my company blog. 

CNN has released the results of what I deem a very powerful study, making the connection between all  of the news-sharing madness happening across the social space, and how advertisers benefit. The global research study into the power of news and recommendation, called POWNAR, was pretty high-tech. According to CNN, it included: “a thorough semiotic analysis, neuro-marketing techniques, news tracking and an ad effectiveness survey to demonstrate that shared news drives global uplifts in brand metrics.”

Having worked at six news organizations, most recently WRAL, I am very familiar with the conversations surrounding the popularity of news sharing and the perplexities that have come with properly defining exactly how the news organizations, which create the content being shared, can capitalize on it all.

At first, the main area of concern was the fact that the content was moving beyond the news website to social networking sites. (“What, they’re taking our content and posting it on Facebook? My word!”)

News managers were finally able to move past that once everyone adopted the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality, which brought in a flurry of “share this” widgets on pretty much every news story on mainstream news website.  These tools encourage sharing and have reduced it to a single click.

I sat in a number of meetings trying to convince the higher-ups that this sharing was a good thing and if the news organization actually got involved in these social networks and started communicating with viewers and readers directly, it would be a testament to the company’s ability to adapt in the new media space.  It would also further humanize the brand.

Another hurdle successfully cleared. I say this because I’m sure you’ve seen the hundreds of journalists on Twitter, heard the pleas from news anchors to “friend us on Facebook” and read the crawls underneath Larry King and Anderson Cooper’s  introductions to their  shows telling you to follow them on Twitter. I don’t need to convince you that news organizations have embraced the power their information yields across social media platforms.

But back to the point….

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With all the conjecture about the future of the news media floating around cyberspace and the constant debates about new media vs. old media; bloggers vs. journalists and when exactly newspapers will die off completely, it was such a pleasure to read a book rooted in facts, and filled with people who care deeply about the industry. Not only do these people understand the landscape of digital news, they are crafting the future and their ideas make sense.

The author is Ken Doctor, and if you don’t know him, you should get to know him. Ken is a leading media industry analyst and a super-smart guy. I know him from his blog, Content Bridges, which is a favorite in my RSS feed and I am never disappointed with anything he writes.

In Newsonomics: Twelve new trends that will shape the news you get; Doctor takes us from the early days of journalism, sharing his own experiences during a lengthy career with Knight-Ridder to current-day issues, attitudes and concerns…and everything in between.

He talks about the curmudgeons who are so often blasted by new media types (myself included at times) but in a way that helps you understand them better. There is so much more to this debate, and  it is uncovered beautifully throughout the pages of this book. News is changing, but it is nowhere near death.

On page 3, Doctor writes:

“The second decade of the twenty-first century will truly be a Digital News Decade, just as the first has been one of profound transformation. ”

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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