December 15, 2007

Tina Brown: Media challenge, no blog for her

Shoma Chadhury caught up with Harold Evans and Tina Brown in Delhi where they spoke to about the challenge of journalism in the world today

I pulled out a few things that I was most interested in, starting with this question:
What is the biggest challenge facing media in America today? And India?
Corporatisation. The sophistry of the big conglomerate guys is to say there’s never been more plurality of outlet.
Here's the rest of her reply.

Sure. We have a thousand and one outlets now, but their circulation is zip.

There isn’t a place to have any meaningful public discourse. You’re just talking to yourself. Most publications and networks don’t have the critical mass.
And the major networks and newspapers don’t want to do the work.

... Journalists have to become entrepreneurs. The search for the billionaire with a conscience is a dead end.

... But though media is almost more important than politics at this point, the trouble is American newspapers where my heart lies are really a dying thing and you can’t persuade people to invest in them.

It has to be online. I’ve been working on a website.

I’m determined to make global journalism sexy.

But the web is a capricious thing. No one has figured the economic model. It will get resolved. We are in the in-between stage.

It’s like being in the middle of the Industrial Revolution.

Until we figure the online model, we’re stuck with old models with the corporations killing everything. There isn’t a serious journalist who doesn’t feel this. This is not just about professional dissatisfaction. It’s— as Al Gore says in his book — really affecting the marketplace of ideas.
She also shared why you shouldn't expect a blog from her anytime soon.

What do you think the trick on the web will be? I find blogs totally overrated. No rigour.

That’s what the DNA of my website will be. Rigour. I don’t want any more spouting of sloppy opinions. I don’t have the time. ABC just fired 75 TV journalists and hired 75 bloggers instead, responsible only to themselves. It’s insane to do that to your brand. This is just the exuberance of a new medium. No one wants to look uncool, but who’s reading it? People keep asking me to blog, but I’m not going to lower my standards, and why would I write for nothing? Haven’t done that since childhood.
Interested? Then read the rest online


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