Huffington takes on Mainstream News Media
HUFFINGTON'S WORDS VERY RELEVANT TO CITIZEN JOURNALISM
Ariana Huffington, owner of the hugely successful Huffington Post blog, and frequent guest on MSNBC News, was asked to give a speech in Washington, DC, on the future of Journalism and news media.
Her remarks below, regarding major online news media which accuse those such as Huffington Post (and this would apply to Now Public, and to many news blogs as well) of "stealing their content." The piece is worth reading in its entirety.
Ever since we decided to launch the Huffington Post, I've talked about how the future of journalism will be a hybrid future where traditional media players embrace the ways of new media (including transparency, interactivity, and immediacy) and new media companies adopt the best practices of old media (including fairness, accuracy, and high-impact investigative journalism).
And with so many traditional media companies adapting to the new realities, it was ridiculous to engage in an us vs. them, old media vs. new media argument. Either/or was the wrong way to look at things.
But playing nice has increasingly become a one-way street -- suddenly the air is filled with shrill, nonsensical, and misplaced verbal assaults on those in the new media.
Apparently, some in the old media have decided that it is, in fact, an either/or game and that the best way to save, if not journalism, at least themselves, is by pointing fingers and calling names. It's a tactic familiar to schoolyard inhabitants everywhere: when all else fails, reach for the nearest insult and throw it around indiscriminately.
So now sites that aggregate the news have become, in the words of Rupert Murdoch and his team, "parasites," "content kleptomaniacs," "vampires," "tech tapeworms in the intestines of the Internets," and, of course, thieves who "steal all our copyright."
It's the news industry equivalent of "your mama wears army boots!" Although, not quite as persuasive.
In most industries, if your customers were leaving in droves, you would try to figure out what to do to get them back. Not in the media. They'd rather accuse aggregators of stealing their content.
Of course, any site can shut down the indexing of its content by Google any time it wants with a simple "disallow" in its robots.txt file. But be careful what you wish for because as soon as you do that, and start denying your content to other sites that aggregate and link back to the original source, you stand to lose a large part of your traffic overnight. But as they say in Australia: "Good on ya." Of course as someone who cares deeply about the future of this country, I'd say that having Glenn Beck not searchable by Google is an entirely good thing. But a good business move? Not so much.
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Washington D.C., D.C., United States