Machine-Driven Future


(L to R): John Huey, Martin Baron, Ted Leonsis, Vivian Schiller and Julius Genachowski

I attended an intriguing program on the topic of “Inside Media: What’s Happening to the News Business?” at the Newseum. The inspiration for the discussion was ‘Riptide,’ an oral history project that chronicles the epic collision between journalism and digital technology from 1980 to the present. Check out the video interviews — they are very insightful!

Distinguished panelists included: Martin Baron, Washington Post executive editor, Ted Leonsis, former AOL senior executive, Vivian Schiller, NBC News chief digital officer, Julius Genachowski, former FCC chairman, and panel moderator John Huey, former editor-in-chief of Time Inc. Presentation highlights I walked away with …

  • Ted talked about how the industry blew it years ago by not believing in the new medium. Publications like Sports Illustrated missing the boat by not creating a product like ESPN or Rolling Stone magazine not developing a product like MTV. Ted said the next phenomenon is where mobile, local and social all come together. Microtargeting audiences (ex. Groupon) and re-imagining delivery and advertising. Being machine-driven, not human centered. Understanding how the machines work and how to feed them.
  • Martin discussed the importance of sourcing news with speed and great reporting being essential to the brand.
  • Vivian spoke about televisions being everywhere, the need for multiple revenue streams, and not tricking the audience or letting advertisers influence them.
  • Julius said it’s important that we ask not is news valuable, but rather what is the new business model for delivery?

Once again, another positive event experience at the Newseum.

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