Time not keeping up with times

With the changes in today’s society, the need for new technology and the immediacy of events, the media is under great pressure to deliver.  However, most newspapers, magazines and other media are failing to accommodate the needs and desires of their audiences.  Emerging technology is enabling the people in our society to interact and communicate in new ways.  However, standard news and journalism hindering this movement, thus becoming obsolete.  I’ve spoken about the need for new media several times.  However, I want to stress the need for new EFFECTIVE media today.

Everyone from large corporations to small businesses are making changes to address to save themselves from debt.  However, most of these changes are either not big enough or not the right changes.  Time Magazine is perfect example of what NOT to do.    Time’s website prefaces many of its articles with the following:

The following is an abridged version of an article that appears in the July 12, 2010 print and iPad editions of TIME magazine.

So now to receive all of the resources and content Time has to offer we may have to go to three separate sources.  Time’s print edition offers stories and all print content for $4.99 an issue.  While Time’s online edition offers some multimedia, blogs and snippets of stories.  Finally, Time’s iPad App offers multimedia content like slideshows, photos, videos, etc.  This costs $4.99 as well and includes print content.  However, this means we have to pay $500 for an iPad.

Now this is simply too complicated for most of us to understand and keep up with.  While, Time may be able to keep some of its loyal readers, young audiences will seek out alternative online magazines that are free.  So unless Time alters its model, I do not see it being profitable for much longer.

Here’s a thought?  Couldn’t Time spend most of its own time on creating an interactive, thoughtful, useful website with cheap or even free content.  Make money with ad revenue.  Charge for additional, in-depth content or access to databases.  Merchandise on valuable services.  Print the paper version of the magazine, sure, but don’t waste so much time and resources on something that is becoming insignificant anyway.  Just because the print versions of newspapers and magazines are dying doesn’t mean that the content or the industry has to.  Utilize technology.

Nieman Journalism Lab and All Things Digital have also blogged about Time’s decision.

CNN Drops AP

CNN finally dropped the AP! I think we all saw this coming in 2009 when CNN Radio and CNN.com both dropped all AP content.  Also, the beginning of CNN Wire also signaled the end of the relationship between these news organizations.  I’m excited to see what CNN does with its wire service and if they step up to the plate.  I

have nothing against the AP…honestly.  While their writing is a little dry, they do provide valuable stories to news organizations.  When a newspaper needs to fill space in an edition or a story needs to be covered, but there are not enough writers, the AP is there.  However, I do think CNN is taking a proactive step in improving their services and merchandising on their writing and reporting.  The AP has made a huge impact on news today and I can’t wait to see if CNN does the same.

Check out the memo to CNN Staff from CNN Worldwide Chief Jim Walton.

We are taking an important next step in the content-ownership process we began in 2007 to more fully leverage CNN’s global newsgathering investments. Starting today, CNN newsgathering will be the primary source of all content for all of our platforms and services. We will no longer use AP materials or services. The content we offer will be distinctive, compelling and, I am proud to say, our own.

Beyond the obvious business reasons for this operating shift-the content we spend our money to create should be the content we present, and less reliance on outside sources will mean more to invest in our organization-there are other important motivations. CNN-exclusive content will further differentiate our platforms in the media marketplace. It will provide consumers with the unique news and information experience they expect from CNN. And it will make us more creative, resourceful and collaborative journalists and news professionals.

To support this new model, we are expanding the CNN Wires team and embedding positions with desks and bureaus to speed information to air. Among continuing infrastructure improvements to further our distinctive storytelling, we’re launching CNN Share to aggregate editorial content and facilitate easy distribution and sharing across platforms; launching a new alert system for breaking news; creating newsgathering opportunities across all dayparts; and building tools to expand information gathering from social media and emerging sources.

Our global broadcast affiliates will be key partners in this effort. Creating more original content will enhance our service to them and build stronger working relationships going forward. Additionally, we are entering into an arrangement with Reuters to supplement breaking news coverage and we have the Spanish-language wire service EFE available in-house.

This effort is the result of creative thinking, partnership and hard work by colleagues from across CNN guided by the same goal: to further strengthen CNN’s leadership position and grow our business. I am grateful to them for bringing us to this point, and to each of you for taking it from here. By embracing this new way of working, we are demonstrating our commitment to the future of CNN.

And of course the AP covered this story as well–both humorous and admirable.

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Free Mortgages!! Come on people.

I read an article in the NYT that caught my eye recently.  As a society, we find it difficult to accept responsibility for anything.  However, this article is doing nothing but encouraging that immature behavior.  The article, entitled Owners Stop Paying Mortgages, and Stop Fretting, is about homeowners who cannot afford to pay their mortgages so they simply do not.  Instead they indulge on restaurants and trips.  This story places all of the blame on banks and ridiculous loans.  While they are partially responsible, we are ultimately responsible for ourselves.  If we see that we cannot afford something, then we need to make the conscious decision to pass on the loan or purchase.  While the article briefly explores the pitfalls of these homeowners, the lead and the nut graf are enough to make wealthy individuals stop paying their mortgages.

“For Alex Pemberton and Susan Reboyras, foreclosure is becoming a way of life — something they did not want but are in no hurry to get out of.

Foreclosure has allowed them to stabilize the family business. Go to Outback occasionally for a steak. Take their gas-guzzling airboat out for the weekend. Visit the Hard Rock Casino.”

I’m disappointed in the NYT for making this, not paying mortgages, a thought in the heads of the American people.

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