For mainstream media companies, the new Holy Grail or Holy Grail 2.0, if you will, is finding a sustainable business model for the Digital Age. While few now still argue that the old scarcity-economy model is broke, a look at the declining share prices of major media houses makes it clear that, despite much talk and even some action, still fewer are thought to have discovered how to fix it.
Last month, no less than Marc Andreessen (founder of Netscape & Ning) inaugurated “the New York Times Deathwatch” — and, as Dan Gilmore (would-be citizen journalism entrepreneur-turned-academic) in a blog post entitled, New York Times Needs to Wake Up: “the data he cites should be giving the Times-folk nightmares”.
This month, Chris Anderson (the Wired magazine editor who gave us The Long Tail ) asserted that “everything that becomes digital eventually becomes free” – and, I suspect, the data he cites will be giving everyone in the mainstream media nightmares.
Given that more people are consuming more media than ever before, a stark question arises: ‘If the media landscape is booming, why aren’t media companies?”
This is theme for the 9th Journalism Leaders Forum at Preston on 29 April 2008.
Amongst the confirmed panellists are Paul Bradshaw, author of the Online Journalism Blog and convenor of the recent Journalism Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Camp; Karen Swan, marketing head for Trinity Mirror Regionals; and Anton Grutzmacher, head of client services at the market intelligence company, Hitwise.
Joining the conversation from the audience will be participants in the Trinity Mirror Editorial Leaders Programme and Digital Editors Network members. Taking us through the issues will be Mike Ward, author of Journalism Online and head of journalism at UCLan.
To attend this free programme at 6pm on Tuesday, 29th April in Greenbank Lecture Theatre in Preston - as well as the networking reception from 5pm - please RSVP to leaders[at]ukjournalism[do]ac[dot]uk.
If you can't be there in person, there are other ways to join the discussion. You can post your questions and comments on this site, or you can view the live Webcast by logging in as a guest at: http://breeze01.uclan.ac.uk/journalismleadersforum/. Online participants will be able to post questions to panelists in a text chat room.
For more information about this and other activities of the Journalism Leaders Programme, which partners with media companies to develop leadership talent and strategic solutions for the Digital Age, visit the programme website or contact me, François Nel, by email (FPNel@uclan . ac . uk) or Skype (francoisnel).