AP News Alert: Disintermediation is here

Please pardon this disintermediation … we’re just changing all the rules.
Does the venerable Associated Press get disintermediation in its core business?
A couple E.W. Scripps executives I work with think not and made some provocative arguments in OJR last week. They envision a Napster model in which Internet technologies are used to open the system and drive down costs.

If AP had its collective head firmly inside the 21st Century, it already would be moving at least parts of its services in the Napster direction. But AP is like any business confronted with a disruptive technology. Its first inclination is self-preservation, not cannibalization.

Give it a read. If you want leave a comment on Bob Benz’sSuffering the Benz” blog.
The react from AP? Still trying to tell if the smoke was white or black or just resulted from spontaneous combustion. We still have a wire feed.

New Knoxnews

We launched a redesigned knoxnews.com last Thursday.
Long days, little sleep, lots of coffee = looks great.
The designers and programmers that made it happen on the corporate side did a great job.
It’s a radical departure from what we had and, to some, it’s moved away from what they think a newspaper site should look like.
See for yourself.
An update: Noticed a nice note on Jay Small’s site with some insightful comments.

And the largest digital camera makers are….

Disruptive technologies have a funny way of being disrupted themselves.
Digital cameras disrupted the business for film for still photos and now finds itself disrupted by cell phone manufacturers.
This item from “om malik on broadband:”

… in 2004 the sales of camera phones were four times the total digital still camera shipments.

Of couse, that leaves the question: What technology will disrupt the cell phone juggernaut?

Abandoning the News

There seem to a spate of articles about the future of news and newspaper — most of them filled with dire predictions.
One of the most thought-provoking I’ve seen appeared this week: Merrill Brown’s “Abandoning the News” report for the Carnegie Corp.

Even if the daily newspaper industry’s advertising revenue dwarfs its Internet business, the future of the American newspaper will be defined online from both a future readership point of view and perhaps in terms of future revenue streams as well. It is time for print industry investments in Internet products to match the online audience size and the extraordinary magnitude of the migration to digital news delivery.

My, my it’s interesting time.

Paper Profits

Ole Venob had a call from someone who said a copy of the News Sentinel Pat Summitt edition was selling for 41 bucks.
Yep, sure thing. Here’s the link.
Another seller has same paper up to $15.

‘New News’ Retro

Nora Paul has some good reading at OJR with ‘New News’ retrospective: Is online news reaching its potential?.
Yes, 10 years ago — and even recently — the selling point was “Web as bottomless newshole” which turns out to be exactly what people don’t need.
And newspaper news sites still don’t provide the convenience and utilitarian features that readers want. It may be that services like Google News and Findory do provide that utilitarian usefulness while using the content from mainstream media.
What a lost opportunity: Aggregators become primary news sources because mainstream news media sites failed to provide the tools readers wanted.
New forms of story telling haven’t moved far from “gee-whiz that looks cool” — yet. Hopefully, we’ll learn!
Nora nails the state of online news. Hopefully, in Boom 2.0 our promises will better match our readers’ wants and the reality will be a little closer to the promise. They had better.