Author Archives: mediagiraffe

NAA effort launched to identify features of “content” people will pay for: Tweet #newspay

The National Newspaper Association has launched an informal exercise to try assemble best thinking about types of content the public might be willing to pay for. The effort is noted in a comment to a post by veteran news executive Alan Mutter on his blog, Reflections of a Newsosaur:


In one comment, Beth Lawton, a digital strategist at the Newspaper Association of America, wrote: “NAA is working on getting a conversation rolling about this topic. Please cross-post your comments to Twitter (#newspay) or to NAA’s Facebook page. Nice work getting this started, Alan! Thanks!”

In his post, Mutter lists four types of news-oriented information a publisher might arguably convince a user to pay for, including intensive, comprehensive, exclusive local news, news that helps the reader make money or avoid losing money, or exclusive entertainment stories.

Mutter suggests rating information on a five-point matrix of attractiveness for attempting a paid content experiement. These include, Mutter wrotes: Uniqueness, routiness, time sensitivity, business urgency, entertainment value, localness and relationship to home economics.

In interview, Google’s Schmidt comes off rather supportive of newspapers’ role in democracy

The topical blog Search Engine Land and its editor-in-chief, Danny Sullivan, scored a long interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt posted Sat., Oct. 3, at 8 a.m. In it, Schmidt comes off as rather supportive of newspapers’ role supporting democracy through investigative journalism, says he sees it as a “moral obligation” of Google to help the news industry, but reveals no specifics about how Google might do so. Here’s the link:

Knight Commission report on community news needs streamed live on Oct. 2

What are the news and information needs of communities?

A two-year inquiry by a joint Aspen Institute-Knight Foundation study commission will issue its findings on the subject on Friday — and you can watch their report live and follow the Twitter stream via the hashtag #knightcomm.

Erin Silliman, who is project manager of the communications and society program at the Aspen Institute advises the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities, says the meeting will be streamed live from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT from this URL:

To view the full agenda and speakers, go to:

A project of the Aspen Institute and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the “Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy” will be meeting at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

During it’s last meeting in May, the commission’s discussion followed these themes:

— Information is vital to people, both in regard to the quality of their individual lives and in their ability to participate in the public space.

— People who lack access to digital information or the skills to use it risk becoming second-class citizens.

— Information is a public good and needs to be thought of and supported in that way.

— Journalism plays a critical in role in the lives of people, in the health of communities and in the functioning of democracy

After opening remarks by president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Alberto Ibargüen, and Knight Commission co-chairs Marissa Mayer and Theodore B. Olson, the Commission will present the Report to Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the FCC, and other government officials.

Knight commissioners and other leaders will then engage in a multi-panel discussion on the commission¹s recommendations. Mayer is a Google Inc. execugtive and Olson is a retired U.S. solicitor general.

Silliman says there will be lots of information at that website address beginning on Friday at 5 p.m. EDT as well as two ways to view the written report — a fully downloadable PDF file or via individual HTML pages online.

“We will also begin a national dialogue on the report and the Commission’s recommendations beginning Friday,” says Silliman. “We will have a very exciting and interactive web ready in conjunction with the release of the report.”

Silliman invites questions at or (202) 736-5851.

Announcing CircLabs Inc. — helping news industry to find a business model on the web

Jeff Vander Clute announces in Washington, D.C., on May 27, 2009, a partnership among four entrepreneurs and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. Vander Clute is president of the Silicon Valley startup, CircLabs Inc. Vander Clute is followed by Martin Langeveld, CircLab’s executive vice president. For more information go to:

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AUDIO: Google CEO addresses newspaper publishers in San Diego: On payments and ads

Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt delivered the closing address on Tuesday (April 7) to the Newspaper Association of America convention in San Diego. The talk was sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. Click on the link below to go to and launch the audio, or download an MP3 podcast for offline listening. (54 minutes, 13MB) (The sound of keyboard clicking stops after the first few minutes)


The Poynter Institute website published a transcript of the Q&A portion of his appearance:
And here’s the script of the Cover-It-Live real-time blogging of his talk:

 The first question in San Diego at the NAA closing to Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked by RJI’s Roger Gafke. Here is the exchange:

ROGER GAFKE: You have mentioned the importance of advertising as the future but in your opening remarks you mentioned a bit about micropayments and subscriptions. Would you elaborate a bit on each of those other potentials?
ERIC SCHMIDT: I think you are going to end up with all three. An analogy I would offer is television — there is free over-the-air-television, there’s cable television and then there’s pay television. And they have smaller markets as you go from free to more highly paid. And that structure looks to use like roughly the structure of all of these businesses. Today there are very effective subscription-based models, but there are not very good micropayment systems, micropayments meaning 1-cent, 3-cent kinds of systems. They clearly need to be developed by the industry. So I think from your perspective you should assume that your information, if there is a category of information that you all produce that you’ll want to distribute free — freely — there’s a category of information that you’ll want to distribute on a per-click basis and then there’s some of it you’ll want subscription for. The reality [is] that in this new model, the vast majority of people will only deal with the free model and so you.ll be forced whether we like it or not, to have a significant advertising component as well as a micropayment and a traditional payment system. The technology around micropayments is getting to be possible now. The transaction costs were so high before that you couldn’t do the one-cent, three-cent kind of a model. It looks like the new technologies around aggregation will allow that at the payment level.

Google’s CEO on what will pay for content: Advertising, micropayments, subscriptions

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has laid out his vision for the three principal ways information will be financed in a digital age. His answer, not surprisingly: Advertising, micropayments and subscriptions. What’s notable is his particular take on where each method can be most effectively deployed.

Schmidt laid out his views in a one-hour broadcast interview March 6, 2009, on the Charlie Rose Show on PBS. If you want to watch it, here’s the link, and the content-funding discussion starts about 15 minutes in:

Here’s the context: Rose asked Schmidt about the phenomenon of user-generated content. Schmidt acknowledges the challenging of selling advertisements against it. He says Google is working on ways to target content to individual interests. He notes that text ads near search results “are very, very lucrative, and a great business to be in.” He says Google is working on the creation of sophisticated visual advertisements that will make people excited about buying products. “And we can sell those products and make a lot of money,” he says.

When Rose then asked about how to monetize content, Schmidt explains:

  • He said advertisements would be used to cover the cost of “things, which are going to be viewed by 2 billion people.”
  • For smaller audiences — 20 million or 2 million viewers — “you can imagine that you’ll have micropayments, not advertising, where you’ll pay a one cent, three cent, five cent for a view. And those tools and techniques are being developed now in the industry and I think are likely to be successful.”
  • For specialized, high-value content, “that is knowledge workers who are highly paid and they have to have this very special report, they’ll pay big bucks and they’ll use the traditional subscription methods.”

    On privacy of Google Mail

    On privacy, Rose asks Schmidt about the fact that Google has the ability to “see all my mail” if a user is on Google Mail.

    “But we don’t, by practice,” replies Schmidt.

    “You’re saying trust us. Trust us?” asks Rose.

    “Yes,” replies Schmidt. “We do not sneak a look.”

    Transparency — a form of journalism?

    Journalism doesn’t come up in the interview, per se. But Schmidt has some thoughtful comments about the way technology is increasing transparency in society and in politics. Here’s a longish, verbatim excerpt. To what extend does Schmidt articulate a scenario, which makes watchdog journalism unnecessary?

    SCHMIDT: “The important thing here is the phenomenon of user-generated content, of which YouTube is an example, is I think the defining expression of humanity over the next 10 to 20 years. We had no idea that all these things were going on because there was no way to see them. And now if you have someone who is being taken advantage of or abused or put into an inappropriate position or what have you they can take a picture, they can record what the police are doing.

    “There are a lot of implications. The most interesting thing is transparency is how you keep societies honest. And we’ve now because of the Internet and the digital revolution We’ve essentially given people the ability to see everything. So you can now take photographs and videos of everything you see in your world and people will discover it. And there are whole communities of people who are interested in these kinds of aspects and the serve as a form of check and balance on the powerful, the rich, the people who might exploit others. But it doesn’t necessarily mean for a different outcome, but it means that everybody can’t hide, they can’t tell the truth and that’s a big step forward.”

    ROSE: But how would it affect politics?

    SCHMIDT (excerpting his answer): “Politicians today are well aware of YouTube and its phenomenon and they’re more careful. And being more careful is probably good. Because indeed if they are going off and saying things to small audiences and they’re going to another audience and saying something very different, I want to know that as a viewer.” …. “It’s very difficult now to use completely false statements to inflame the public.”

  • AUDIO: Bill Densmore interviewed on KTRS St. Louis about IVP

    Can news organizations figure out a way to increase the value they receive for journalism on the World Wide Web? McGraw Milhaven, talkmaster on KTRS Radio in St. Louis, interviews Bill Densmore of the Information Valet Project. Densmore is a 2008-2009 Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo. Listen to a 25-minute excerpt, followed by three minutes of Milhaven talking with a caller.   JUMP PAGE TO AUDIO STREAM (28.37 mins., 6.87 MB downoad.)

    Mark Anderson’s “concierge” — is this a role for America’s news organizations?

    Mark Anderson of Strategic News Service ( gives this scenario in a Dec. 29, 2008 interview with the BBC’s Peter Day. It was part of
    an interview on technology predictions for 2009. Why can’t the nation’s news organizations learn how to play this “concierge” role?

    This quote start at 17 mins., 45 seconds into the interview on this MP3 (DOWNLOAD MP3).

    “The function here is pretty interesting. It is not such much that the technology has changed, although voice recognition is an important part of this. It’s that people will be integrating services for you personally. Instead of you just buying one at a time. Today on your Apple iPhone one app tells you where is the Italian restaurant nearest to me. Another tells me, ‘Where am I?’ Another app can tell you how to rent a car. And so on.

    “But what I think’s going to happen now, is there is going to be an assistant — let’s call him an assistant — who knows who you are, a lot about you. Knows profiles of your use. So let’s say Peter you fly to New York and you might fly in three ways. You might come in a business visit, a personal visit or a family visit . . . so you tell your assistant, ‘I’m going to New York on he following day and I’m going to be there for four days and this is a business visit. And that’s all you have to say. And the concierge service here will notice that, they know what . . . that means Hertz not National rental, that means this hotel not that hotel, I know his requent flyer numbers, I’ll make the airline reservations, I’ll also use that for the hotel, I know that Peter is an opera fan, I’ll get tickets for the opera and so on . . . this is a machine . . . integrated personalized services.”

    SOURCE: Mark Anderson of Strategic News Service, interviewed on BBC’s Global Business
    with Peter Day of Peter Day’s World of Business.

    Blueprint summit — Lee Enterprises’ Greg Schermer sets the stage

    Greg Schermer, vp-interactive for Lee Enterprises, opens the first day of the two-day Blueprinting the Information Valet Economy, summit at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, Mo. Then the 40 participants work to frame the opportunities and risks for online information commerce and try to define the term InfoValet.

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    Blueprint — Thurs. Part 2 — Problem, value and structure

    After framing the issues in the first hour, participants in “Blueprinting the Information Valet Economy” seek in discussion to reach consensus on what problem will be solved by the Information Valet Service, its key values to consumers and how it might be owned and organization. Conversation took place Thurs., Dec.3 at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, Mo.

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