The future of news is an important piece of the future of technology, so this leaked writeup from Nieman Labs on an innovation post-mortem from the New York Times caught my attention. Among the observations:
- The homepage is irrelevant: only a third of readers ever visit it. But the concept of “top news stories” still drives too much of what the org does.
- Technology, in the form of better structuring and mining of existing data or repurposing content in interactive ways, can drive engagement as much or more than great stories.
- The newsroom (manufacturing) and marketing (sales) can no longer be separate. If anything, the future is making business/sales less and less of a standalone entity.
One thing I’ve always wondered is why people care so much about new content. Let’s face it: most of the best content was produced long, long ago. Much, perhaps most great content (e.g. recipes, travel, historical events) ages well and often I’d rather read a great past story than a mediocre one from today.
This whole article is worth reading.