A Letter From the Future of Journalism


Blendle's Alexander Klöpping wrote a really thought provoking piece on journalism in 2019. The text in the link is in Dutch, for some reason he is not communicating in English anymore. Please use google translate.

He makes five points.

1. Journalism should serve people's lives with more practical information

Quote (passed by Google translate) from Alexander:

I would love to go to the journalistic medium that I trust - whether it is De Telegraaf, AD or Trouw. For example, that I can enter my child's date of birth, and that I occasionally receive a push message from the newspaper: "Your child is now seven months old, x is happening in this phase." This makes journalism much more relevant in my life.

2. New is not always better

Go beyond the recency bias and make your archive accessible like a structured database.

3. Cooperate within the industry

Why do we let Google (subscribe with), Apple News and Facebook (paywall in beta) aggregate our news, and fail to sell each other's content? Of course we fear to lose the direct traffic (publisher as destination), but still an interesting point.

4. Audio is undervalued

Why are there no commercials on podcasts as there are on radio? Why is a video worth ten times an audio fragment. We give away podcasts for free. We made the same mistake with articles over twenty years ago. Will we never learn? Countering this point is the latest IAB report that attributes 2.3 billion ad revenues to podcasts - 2.1% of the US market.

5. Conversations about news are off platform

There is a lot to be said about commenting (and curating it). Interestingly, as journalists we take our conversations to twitter, where there is practically no curation and then it's okay? We lose the interaction on our platforms. Fair point.

Although there are no direct answers, here, Alexander does raise some good questions. I would love to be in 2024 and look back on these five points to see how we have evolved globally in the news industry. If the optimism is still there. If we have cracked some of these puzzles.


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