I've been talking with a lot of media people for the past year about the state of the media and have had some significant discussions with both David Heller of IB Systems and John Blyler at Extension Media. We've come to agree that while there are many reasons why journalism is struggling as a business model but a significant contributor to the industry stagnation is the belief in two specific measurements: circulation and exclusivity. Neither of these measurement have any meaning in today's world.
That's why Footwasher Media, Extension Media and IB Systems are teaming up. Footwasher's New Tech Press will provide content to the online and print publications of both organizations (including Chip Design magazine and EDACafe.com).
Publications, websites and broadcast media base advertising rates on the size of their audiences, but the audience increasingly doesn't value large audiences, especially in the case of B2B print publications and they are refusing to sponsor media on that premise. What they value is the right audience. The media outlet that reaches the specific customer that the sponsor does want provides value to the sponsor.
Journalists, especially in the US, further hamper their value by insisting on "getting the story first." This is a hangover from the yellow journalism years where getting the "scoop" before anyone else actually boosted circulation. But that advantage started fading with the onset of broadcast journalism and has been beaten into a bloody, lifeless pulp by the Internet, exclusivity on news exists for fractions of seconds now. What is valuable is being able to provide the information the audience wants when they want it.
The need to overcome both of these practices is the reason New Tech Press was founded. Its circulation only targets the sponsor's specific audience. The number of people reading our content is not important. Who reads it is important. That's why New Tech Press has actively sought partnerships, both informal and formal, other publications to simultaneously share its content with those publications.
This idea is not really popular with the entrenched media. They are waiting for things to return as they were and that's too bad, because they are not going to. But they have also expressed valid concerns about the integrity of the content we will create and share. I've mentioned before that New Tech Press is to be dedicated to the ethical standards that have been adopted over the past 50 years but this group of collaborators are expanding those into what we call and Editorial Collaboration Bill of Rights."
We pledge to share editorial content in areas not directly or infrequently covered by the other content providers.
We will provide readers with increased breadth and depth of content coverage.
We will expand the editorial coverage of technology and news beyond what one publisher could normally provide.
We will foster synergy among editors from collaborating publishers.
We will provide additional content delivery mechanisms – both print and online.
Mechanisms will be put in place to achieve the goal of editorial sharing while safeguarding the editorial expertise, readership and sponsorship base of collaborating publications:
Each publisher can decide if and when the shared content will be posted online (or print). The content will not be altered without approval of the originating content provider.
Under this arrangement there is no exchange of compensation for the content between the partners. The editorial staffs of our partners will determine what material it accepts and publishes from New Tech Press. It's time to break out of the boxes that are holding us back. I want to thank both John and David for their willingness to do just that. We will work with everyone else looking to do the same.