The rise of newsbrands

by Jason Preston on November 18, 2008

I like Rupert Murdoch. There are a million reasons to hate him, ranging from his ideology (if you disagree with it) to his willingness to dabble in editorial direction based on said ideology.

But he is one hell of a businessman, and at the moment, he seems to be one of the only people in the industry who really gets it.

Nathan Hambley dropped a comment on this blog yesterday pointing me to a radio address (link to written content) delivered by Rupert Murdoch about the “failing” newspaper industry and the changes we’re going through. I have yet to read anything more intelligent about the future of newspapers (or as Murdoch starts calling them, newsbrands):

The more serious challenge is the complacency and condescension that festers at the heart of some newsrooms. The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly — and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted.

The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception.

If you have fifteen minutes (or even if you don’t), this article is well worth a read.