“In a way,” says Jeffrey Goldfarb today, “the scandal may have been the best thing to happen to News Corp,” on the grounds that Hackgate is likely to end up forcing Rupert Murdoch to spin off his newspapers, along with HarperCollins, into a new, separate company.
Infographics are invidious things: they seem to have an astonishing ability to make people simultaneously switch off their brains and reblog them. And today sees a prime example, from Hearst, which managed to get a credulous news article out of Steve Smith and Lauren Indvik by sending them this infographic. Here’s how it begins:
Martin Wolf appeared on CNBC today, which is never a good idea. Between all the swishing noises and flashing graphics, it was pretty hard to understand what he was saying — and in any case, the questions from Andrew Ross Sorkin were generally of the form “tell me what’s going to happen in the future”, rather than “analyze what we know about the present”. At one point Sorkin literally asked Wolf to “handicap the outcome” of the Greek election. Wolf is a fascinating and erudite man, and I’ve never had a conversation with him where I didn’t learn a lot. But maybe if I asked him that kind of question, it could be possible for me to walk away none the wiser about anything.
Back in August, the NYT’s public editor, Arthur Brisbane, penned an idiotic column about DealBook, saying that the NYT’s focus on Wall Street was in some way preventing it from big longform analyses of the European crisis. Today, he returns to his DealBook-bashing ways, complaining — I swear this is true — that by serving the kind of people who are interested in Wall Street, the NYT is ignoring the needs of individual investors who want to be told whether the latest hot IPO is going to go up or down.
Back in November, I grappled with the fact that online display ads in general, and banner ads in particular, are clearly not working very well; my suggested alternative was for brand advertisers to embrace the power of the external link. That was one suggestion; there are many, many more. But what they all have in common is that they’re attempts to go beyond the ad, and to leverage the interactive power of the internet.
You might have heard that Facebook’s going public; certainly the editors of Businessweek have, and so they’ve managed to come up with a listicle (“five hacks that have changed Silicon Valley forever”) to put on their cover this week. The Economist, by contrast, not only has a much better cover; it has also gone with the much more important story. (Which doesn’t yet appear to be online.)