Consulting, Part II: Analyzing news models

OK, class: Last weekend you were “hired” by Big Media Company to craft a quick-hit report on the state of newspapers—their past sins, present struggles, and future challenges/opportunities. This weekend, it’s Part II of your consulting project: You are to write another report (again, roughly 750 words), but this time focused on evaluating the various models for news in the future.

By “models,” I’m referring both to business models as well as reporting models, as we discussed in class today. In either case, our concern is with creating value—journalism worth having (for democracy), and journalism worth funding.

As with the last report, Big Media Company has a few questions they’d like answered, such as:

—There are so many models for news, with buzzword-ish kind of names. Generally speaking, what do they have in common? Where do they differ? How can we make sense of them all?

—Which kinds of models are most likely to work? (And which are most likely to fail?)

—What are the key trends in finding new ways to “make” the news and new ways to fund it? Which seem to matter most, in your opinion?

—Finally, what kind of model for news most interests you, and why? (This is to get you thinking about how it might be a springboard for your Knight News Challenge proposal next month.)

As before, I don’t expect a thesis. I just want to see that you can (a) find good information, (b) synthesize it clearly, and (c) reference it appropriately through the use of links.

Some starting points: A good place to begin is a nice overview piece, and here are two—one from Michael Massing, and this chapter from the Project for Excellence in Journalism‘s State of the News Media 2009 report. Those are must-reads. You’ll also find lots of material from my saved links on Delicious here. … Another key stop on this tour is Poke around the site for ideas. Then see Jeff Jarvis’ “What crisis?” post, and related posts on new business models (more here). Moving on: Paul Bradshaw’s insights on media economics here, and his take on the Jarvis CUNY project here … also, Bradshaw’s 21st century “news diamond” model is important for understanding how the process of newsmaking is changing in the digital environment (and a precursor to “networked journalism” that we’ll discuss next Thursday). As Jay Rosen suggests, there might not be a business model for news, at least not as we’ve come to know news; find out why. … We’ve talked a lot about news “packaging”—that there’s value in the packaging, and that the value has come unbundled on the Net. Ryan Sholin has some thoughts on this; use that as a starting point to learn about link journalism and the link economy. … Also, there’s some fresh material from Steve Outing on a save-the-news event in Denver; see his PDF handout, as well as a recent column on the future-of-journalism gathering in Aspen last month.

Write your report on WordPress: Yes, this is the second purpose of this assignment—to get you up to speed with, in case you’re not already there. This will be crucial for our group blog project later in the semester; we need to make sure everyone understands how the basics work here. To that end, I’d like you to assemble your consulting report as a blog post, complete with links, at least one embedded video, a photo or two (and caption!), and so forth. Add a few widgets (e.g., a Links list for a blogroll, some HTML text, an RSS feed, etc.). Obviously, that means starting with your own blog, which we set up at the end of class today. Just pick a URL that works for you, for now. Then, when you’re finished, come back to the class blog and post a comment to this post, telling us the URL of your blog and a very quick overview of your experience with WordPress.

Any questions? Just let me know. Have a great weekend!

p.s. Please finish all of this—report/blog/everything—by 8 a.m. Tuesday.


18 Responses to “Consulting, Part II: Analyzing news models”

  1. 1 billbowmanut September 21, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    My site address:

    I did not have any problem with wordpress. The interface was very intuitive and easy to use.

  2. 2 Cassandra H September 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    I have worked with WordPress with a previous class, so it was an easy transition to create my own. I really like all of the different ways it allows you to make each blog unique.

    My URL is:

  3. 3 Leigh. September 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    my blog is

    i’ve had a personal blog for about a year and a half on wordpress, and am pretty familiar with its layout!

  4. 5 jwhitcomb September 21, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    My blog is:

    Never having really used wordpress before, I found it simple and straightforward.

  5. 6 Lonny.A September 22, 2009 at 12:46 am

    My blog is:

    This was my first time using wordpress. It was okay, pretty easy to use after playing around with it. But I still prefer blogger over this.

  6. 7 brandonfried September 22, 2009 at 1:00 am

    here’s the link to my blog:

    i’ve used wordpress in other classes before and for a few blogs of my own in the past. the web-based platform is relatively easy to navigate and i didn’t have any trouble getting my post published.

  7. 9 Tiffany Tso September 22, 2009 at 1:19 am

    I had never used it before, but I used Blogger a lot. They are quite different. WP is a little bit harder for me to navigate, but they have it laid out pretty nicely. I wish I could edit my HTML the same way I do on Blogger.

  8. 10 Samantha Borger September 22, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Here’s my link:

    WordPress seems pretty simple right now. I’ve used Blogger and Tumblr before, so uploading video and pictures was pretty much the same.

  9. 11 timgarlitz September 22, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Here is my link:

    I tried several times to add an RSS feed to my main blog page, but each time was unsuccessful. The twitter feed opened without a hitch, but I’m not sure what to do to get my RSS feeds to appear onscreen.

  10. 12 James September 22, 2009 at 5:43 am

    My link is:

    I had problem trying to paste htmlin the text widget, the code was erased each time I tried to save. Also, the generated background behind the photo that I embedded is not centered. I worked with all last summer but I think .com is going to take a little getting used to seeing as how some of the functions are different.

  11. 13 Adam Aldrete September 22, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Hey class,

    Here is my url, I hope you enjoy the blog!

    Initially, I was taken aback by wordpress, but after about 15 minutes I was able to craft my blog into something I am proud of and ready to publish. I especially like the feature that allows me to view the number of people who visit my site.

  12. 14 frankie marin September 22, 2009 at 6:11 am

    my link:

    i’ve been on blogger and wordpress for years, so i’m pretty familiar with it all. thankfully, there’s an auto-save feature that came in handy: my wireless went dead for about an hour and I lost about 1/3 of my work about 20 minutes before I was done, but it could have been a lot worse had the auto-save feature been turned off.

  13. 15 Erin Harris September 22, 2009 at 6:51 am

    The short link to my website is

    Having this been my first time to publish a blog post, it was fairly easy. My one obvious mistake: my picture came out to be tiny, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix that.

  14. 16 austintries5 September 22, 2009 at 7:34 am

    This is my first blog so here we go.

    My link is

  15. 17 Grant September 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I know this is uber late. Sorry!

  1. 1 Networks and the news process « The Future of Journalism Trackback on September 22, 2009 at 3:16 pm

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