A New Model for News

Submitted by jvanderclute on Tue, 03/03/2009 – 10:17amin

Session Convenor: Jim Kennedy

Session Reporter: Jeff Vander Clute

Discussion Participants: List unavailable. Jim Kennedy Bill Mitchell Chris Peck Jeff Vander Clute et al.

Convenor: Jim Kennedy, AP


  • 30 hours of media consumption per week. Broadband shifts those hours online.
  • Post 9/11, Google began scraping news sites. The news sites were overloaded, so Google served the content. Out of this came Google News. People began to search for news instead of browsing for it.
  • Devices
  • Concurrently, the generational shift makes these disruptions permanent.

Ethnography had been used for consumer products. We studied normal, connected people.


1. News is connected to e-mail. We underestimate the power of e-mail.
2. News is multitasked. Consuming news as part of other activities. Goal orientation -> ø
3. Constant checking is linked to boredom. News is no linked to boredom! Troubling situation. Passive vs. active.
4. Consumers are experiencing news fatigue.
5. Consumers want depth but aren’t getting it.

Constant updating partly a function of the devices and the short formats.

Non-linear consumption broke the inverted-pyramid molecule into atoms.

Each story concept could have 4 categories attached.

Newspaper revenue of off-line compressed to 1/10th when moved to the web.

[ACAP?] is a new protocol that adds functionality to the exclusion protocol. (E.g. index but don’t aggregate?)

The goal is to monetize the atomized model.

Atomized model: “Right content to the right people at the right time.”
“The best consumption is goal-oriented.”
New engagement models as opposed to interruption models.

New process: 1-2-3 Filing  (encompasses the old story model)
1. A set of structured headlines. Short & long.
2. A present tense short story. About 200 words.
3. Longer treatment whether web or print.

Maybe draw the pay line between 2 and 3.

1-2-3 Filing 4-5-6
4. Might be text that’s written to be pulled out of video.  (Write to the graphic itself.)
5. Might be text written to connected the various atomized pieces.

Metadata: Standardized system of tagging content. Photos tagged.

“Packaging in free space.” Connecting stories in terms of the 4 atoms.

Mobile News Network is a top AppStore download. Free. About 1 million downloads.

Local news orgs share in revenue.

CPM is $25 due to targeted audience: smart people, smart phones

AP could do what Pubsub is doing with RSS feeds.

You might see an agreement on an overall system for delivering news. Either we will or we won’t in 2009. The stars are aligned for a critical mass to come together. “Pay once and go everywhere.”

“Audience on news sites continues to grow but time spent (minutes per month) hasn’t moved at all.”

NYT: 11-12 million uniques. Time spent is in the teens per minute. Avg in the business is 12 minutes per month.

107 million people – out of 200 million US Internet population – are on news sites. If we could organize that world, we would be 3rd behind Yahoo and Google. We’re relying on Google to drive user engagement. Users come and go as quickly. We have to get back in control of the mechanics of driving user engagement.

Don’t abandon print and broadcast. But can’t repurpose one product for all media. “The death of repurposing.” What product fits the different access points and fits the particular environment the user is in at that moment?

Bill Mitchell: NCN example. How to resolve fundamental conflicts between parties?
JK: The need to control and limit participation collapsed the effort. I have hope because the Mobile News Network has worked. Has 1200 partners in the MNN. The Washington Post just got on board.

Working with Google in 2009 to improve search results for member AP organizations.

AP has ~12 people working on the metadata. Writing rules. Maintaining the metadata. Changes every day.

Extending the platform to work with blogs, etc.
Concentric circles: AP report (3000 journalists), membership (3600 entities), other content creators, audience

AP customer base has 8 segments. Rightsizers to digital distributors like Yahoo. Big titans like CNN, NYT. Emerging market expansion.

A second ethnography related to advertising is in the works. When is it a good time to talk/connect for news and advertising?

About Peggy Holman

Peggy Holman supports organizations and communities to uncover creative responses to complex challenges using innovative engagement processes. The Change Handbook, co-authored with Tom Devane and Steven Cady, documents many such processes. The book is the considered the definitive resource for leaders and consultants working to increase resilience, agility, and collaboration in organizations and other social systems. Peggy co-founded Journalism that Matters in 2001 with three journalists to support the pioneers who are shaping the emerging news and information ecology. Peggy’s latest book, Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity, supports people facing disruptions to invite others to join them in realizing new possibilities.
This entry was posted in Session Notes. Bookmark the permalink.