Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
The journalists and staff who work at The Daily Beast don’t look at life like you other sad-sack scribes out there who are watching your job market wash out to sea with the ebb tide. In fact, they are happy in a particularly mollusk-like way.
“They’re as happy as clams,” said Barry Diller, chief executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp, which is financing the online news outlet with its editor, Tina Brown. “They wake up every morning filled with possibility.”
That’s because they are not working at sinking-ship news outlets like most of the rest of their colleagues in mainstream U.S. journalism.
Hear Diller on this, speaking at the Reuters Global Media Summit:
“Look at what’s going on in publishing. The talk about the destruction that’s taking place there. It’s the perfect time to start something that’s an original product. The Daily Beast is a daily newspaper or magazine. It’s primarily original and is there every day. It’s got real staff, making real money, paying a lot of them — journalists — to make things for us, make stories… They’re covering books, art, the daily features and national and international stories. And it’s incredibly ambitious. It’s gotten a real audience. It is absolutely an original product.”
Rupert Murdoch may have a sprawling empire and may be one the media industry’s last moguls but sometimes a small trust-owned outfit can show the big guys how it’s done. And what does that say about the future? Read for yourself.
“The Guardian has been a fanastic innovator online, absolutely amazing innovator,” said David Levin, Chief Executive of United Business Media UBM at the Reuters Media Summit.”The big debate is how does Rupert Murdoch’s approach, saying I’m going to try and come off the search engines play, contrast with what the Guardian may or may not do. The Guardian is at the other end of the spectrum.
So, you got people who are webcentric and those who say well, ooh, I don’t like that web thing, I will somehow go off line…they’re toast.”
Rupert Murdoch take heed.
The global paper industry has struggled for more than six years to claw its way out of a slump, as soft demand and overcapacity have kept prices down, leading to poor earnings, production curtailments and layoffs.
The current global downturn has further eroded demand for basic materials, including paper, as print advertising has dropped steeply in the crisis. Companies have been forced to run just to stand still, temporarily or permanently shutting mills and axing staff.
We and the rest of the media world that covered News Corp and Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of Dow Jones & Co had no shortage of reporters at The Wall Street Journal telling us how bad life was going to get. Among the complaints was the paper’s increasing focus on politics and non-business news. Wasn’t this “diluting the brand” as they say in mediaspeak?
Not so, according to Robert Thomson, the former Times of London editor who now edits the Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. Business news now is concentrated in the B section of the paper (B for Business, yes, it works.), and Journal reporters are not only with the program, they’re showing a willingness to try things differently.