The New News
Reports of the death of the news media are highly premature, though you wouldn’t know it from the media’s own headlines. Ken Doctor goes far beyond those headlines, taking an authoritative look at the fast-emerging future.
The Twelve Laws of Newsonomics reveal the kinds of news that readers will get and that journalists (and citizens) will produce as we enter the first truly digital news decade.
A new Digital Dozen, global powerhouses from The New York Times, News Corp, and CNN to NBC, the BBC, and NPR will dominate news across the globe, Locally, a colorful assortment of emerging news players, from Boston to San Diego, are rewriting the rules of city reporting,
Newsonomics provides a new sense of the news we’ll get on paper, on screen, on the phone, by blog, by podcast, and via Facebook and Twitter. It also offers a new way to understand the why and how of the changes, and where the Googles, Yahoos and Microsofts fit in. Newsonomics pays special attention to media and journalism students in a chapter on the back-to-the-future skills they’ll need, while marketing professionals get their own view of what the changes mean to them.
Doctor spent 21 years working in various capacities for the Knight Ridder media empire until the company's sale in 2006, and he offers an overview of the very changes that swept him out the door. But far from expressing bitterness about the barrage of blogs and Web sites that have brought old media giants like his former employer to their knees, Doctor is an enthusiastic, even giddy champion of how advances in digital technology are reshaping news media. He reels off buzzwords and corny catchphrases (“It's all beta, baby”; “I'm not a Chump, I'm a Champion”), but sheds little in the way of insight, analysis, or, frankly, news. His rules for “newsonomics” tend to be disappointingly obvious: “Create multimedia, aggregate, blog, master the technology, and market virally.” Perhaps to compensate for the lack of substance, Doctor has tricked out the book with sidebars, bullet-point lists, and interview transcripts, emulating the eye-catching style so prevalent in the blogosphere. In doing so, he inadvertently draws attention to what some might consider the chief limitation of the digital boom—that for all the technical innovation, there's still no substitute for good writing and solid reporting. (Feb.)