From Reuters.com

A future for news

- A Future for News Devin Wenig CEO, Thomson Reuters Markets Much of the last few years have been spent discussing how journalism will survive in the face of the immense changes taking place in the industry.  The digital revolution, the shift in advertising based business models and the explosion of content sources has turned the consuming, dissemination and publishing of news on its head. But the debate has shifted from will it survive to how will it survive?  How will media organizations deliver value while adapting to consumers new demands and capabilities, which will only continue to change? Blaming Google for disrupting the advertising market or waiting for the iPad to replicate offline content are not strategies. Overcapacity and commoditization are not the most popular industry topics to discuss. But look at any news aggregation site and the thousands of stories about any given current event that have little or no differentiation and it’s self evident. When local markets were walled off and self sustainable, there was room for this level of duplication. In the age of information ubiquity, there is not. News organizations need a horizontal platform. They need a broad, fast and fact-based news capability. The only economic model that makes sense is a shared industry capability. However, no single news provider can provide all the requirements in a rapidly shifting and dynamic markets for current awareness. Thomson Reuters is investing heavily in news.  We believe that our history, brand and broad capability give us an excellent starting position to build that industry platform.  We will supplement our unique offering with investments such as the one announced today to support our US and global media business with deep US content.  Additionally, because we know that we will never be able to satisfy all of the industry’s needs, we’ll also provide a platform so that sources can monetize their news and content through our distribution channels. That marriage will make the industry more efficient while freeing up journalists to focus on really adding value for their customers. Where is that value? In vertical content and in true digital innovation. Vertical, valuable journalism is ultimately about expertise and about connecting the dots. It can be based on an editorial voice, a point of view or a set of common interests. While profit pools have been eroded in general news, they have gathered in vertical markets such as corporate industry news and deep expertise in topics of interest such as sports, politics, weather and many other niches.  Editors in these verticals generally have a distinct editorial voice and deep connection to the producers and the consumers of newsflow. When journalism at this level really connects, it can reflect or even create a “virtual community.” For Thomson Reuters, vertical content means the world’s deepest, fastest and most relevant news for professionals. Our editorial goal is to be indispensable to our customers. High value added journalism is critical, but technology and content are now inseparable, if they ever were.  The ability to create utility, collaborate, moderate and build exciting shared user experiences has never been greater. It means recognizing that the expectations of individuals who have grown up in the age of search, multimedia, and mobility is just different. There is no single model of innovation and no magic formula. But it’s clear that experiences based only on linear text will be a challenge for media organizations looking to meaningfully connect with media consumers. Great journalism still matters and is as valued as it has ever been, but that alone is not the end of the discussion. Returns will accrue to those who rethink the user experience rather than replicating it. Thomson Reuters is investing heavily in its product line and has launched major new innovations this year to create intuitive, engaging and adaptable services which push the limits of interaction with news and information. In a media world moving as fast as the present one, it’s easy to get caught up in the flavor of the day.  But playing the long game in news is the best way to sustain valuable journalism and create a viable business model that resonates and adds value to consumers.

Devin Wenig is CEO, Thomson Reuters Markets

Much of the last few years have been spent discussing how journalism will survive in the face of the immense changes taking place in the industry.  The digital revolution, the shift in advertising-based business models and the explosion of content sources has turned the consuming, dissemination and publishing of news on its head.

But the debate has shifted from will it survive to how will it survive?  How will media organizations deliver value while adapting to consumers’ new demands and capabilities, which will only continue to change?

Blaming Google for disrupting the advertising market or waiting for the iPad to replicate offline content are not strategies. Overcapacity and commoditization are not the most popular industry topics to discuss. But look at any news aggregation site and the thousands of stories about any given current event that have little or no differentiation and it’s self evident. When local markets were walled off and self sustainable, there was room for this level of duplication. In the age of information ubiquity, there is not.

Most popular videos of 2010

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From the iPad to a bus siege in Manila to top model gaffes and bejeweled bras, 2010 was an eventful year. Reuters videographers were on the scene at many of these major stories to bring viewers the latest news, often at great risk to themselves as seen by the tragic death of a Reuters cameraman in Thailand.  Their work, sometimes daring, sometimes fun, prompted our audience to click and share. Here’s a look at the most popular video from each month.

JANUARY: Apple ready for big device debut

The launch of Apple’s iPad was a highly anticipated event and it propelled this preview video to the most popular for January.

from For the Record:

Toward a more thoughtful conversation on stories

Visitors to this space may recall that I wrote this summer about the issues Reuters and other news organizations face in dealing with reader comments on stories.

I’ve become increasingly concerned about the quality of discourse in comments on news stories on Reuters.com and on other major news sites.  On some stories,  the “conversation”  has been little more than  partisans slinging invective at each other under  the cloak of anonymity.

from Reuters Editors:

Link economy and journalism

chris_ahearnThe following is a guest column by Chris Ahearn, President, Media at Thomson Reuters.

Last summer, I published a blog post that laid out my feelings about the link economy and its positive contribution to the evolution of the business of journalism. One year later, Reuters.com continues to encourage linking to the rich content we offer and even pulling interesting excerpts for discussion in a different forum.   In exchange for that occasional use of our content, we ask others to respect the hard work our journalists put into their craft and in some cases risk their lives in doing so by offering prominent links and attribution.

How have you been affected by the volcanic ash?

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From the fruit you eat, to the sports you watch, the impact of the volcano flight shutdown has hit all facets of life. The ash cloud has stranded millions but has also hit the industries whose products consumers rely on.

    Travel and Tourism: The airline industry says it is losing some $200 million a day. Travel and tourism accounts for around five percent of global gross domestic product — some $3 trillion — with Europe accounting for a third of that. A prolonged shutdown could cost up to $5-10 billion dollars a week in the industry, analysts say. Health: The flight ban is preventing some life-saving transplant tissue from reaching patients, and other operations have had to be canceled because surgeons are stuck overseas. Sport: Champions League, Premier League and Europa League soccer matches, the London Marathon and the Giro d’Italia cycling race could all be hampered. Fish: The world’s largest fish farmer, Norway’s Marine Harvest, said it would reduce salmon harvest volumes from Monday and that salmon exports to Asia and North America had been hit. Flowers, fruits and vegetables: Kenya’s horticulture industry has lost $12 million to the volcano-induced European airspace closure and it will take several weeks to recover even if flights resume now. Politics: Many government heads and heads of state, including President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, were unable to attend the state funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Sunday following his death in a plane crash in Russia. Entertainment: Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures announced it was moving the world premiere of action movie “Iron Man 2″ to Los Angeles from London due to uncertainty caused by the travel chaos in Europe.

How have you been affected by the paralyzed airspace? Share your thoughts with us.

from Mario Di Simine:

Winners and losers on the Forbes Fictional 15

An actor dressed as Darth Vader passes in front of a model of Jabba the Hutt during the Star Wars Celebration Europe exhibition at the Excel Centre in London July 13, 2007. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN)It’s always good to see a venerable business mag can also have a sense of humor.

Most people know Forbes publishes the ranks of the world’s richest people, this year topped by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. But the magazine also does another annual list that will be of much more interest to those of us who love TV, movies and other fun escapes: the Forbes Fictional 15 rankings of fiction’s richest.

What do you want to see in a passenger bill of rights?

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northwestairline To the roaring cheers of jilted airline passengers everywhere, new rules to protect travelers will take effect on April 29.

These new rules, being issued by the Department of Transportation, focus mainly on the length of time domestic airlines are allowed to keep passengers locked on a plane on the tarmac.  Some may recall the incident last August when passengers were forced to remain on a plane in Rochester, Minn for six  hours  without a working toilet. After April 29, after three hours of being stuck on a plane, domestic airlines will be forced to let passengers deplane — unless there are safety or security issues.

Gregg Easterbrook debuts as columnist on Reuters.com

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Easterbrook-001Reuters today announced the hire of distinguished journalist, author and lecturer Gregg Easterbrook as a columnist for Reuters.com.  Easterbrook, whose weekly column debuts on Reuters.com today, will write on topics ranging from economics and politics to science and technology.

Easterbrook is the author of the bestselling 2010 book Sonic Boom, as well as five other books of nonfiction and two novels. He is a contributing editor to The Atlantic, The New Republic and The Washington Monthly, a former visiting fellow in economics and in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, and a distinguished fellow of the Fulbright Foundation.

Go ahead, make his day: Best of the week

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Maybe it’s the recession, but groceries were a big hit with readers this week. The smackdown king of popularity, however, was no doubt President Obama and his healthcare law, stories for which dominated our most-read figures. Here are the week’s most popular tales.

obama1. Obama dares Republicans to seek healthcare repeal

“Go ahead, punk. Make my day.” While President Obama surely doesn’t carry a Magnum 45 like Dirty Harry did, he certainly talks as tough. Speaking to university students after signing his landmark healthcare legislation into law, the president taunted the Republicans to go ahead and try to repeal the new law. “If they want that fight, we can have it,” he proclaimed. Do you feel lucky, punk? Do you?

Factbox: Where to find auto service bulletins

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DETROIT (Reuters) – Automakers provide notice of recalls involving cars, SUVs or pickup trucks to their owners, but drivers may not know whether their vehicles are covered by one of the thousands of “technical service bulletins” filed each year with U.S. safety regulators or where to find them.

Following are some facts about technical service bulletins, or TSBs, and where vehicle owners might find them.

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