Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Confessions of a Media Manipulator

A subscription model—whether it’s music or news—offers necessary subsidies to the nuance that is lacking in the kind of stories that flourish in one-off distribution. Opposing views can now be included. Uncertainty can be acknowledged. Humanity can be allowed. Since articles don’t have to spread on their own, but rather as part of the unit (the whole newspaper or album or collection), publishers do not need to exploit valence to drive single-use buyers.
With Ochs’s move, reputation began to matter more than notoriety. Reporters started social clubs, where they critiqued one another’s work. Some began talk of unionizing. Mainly they began to see journalism as a profession, and from this they developed rules and codes of conduct. The professionalization of journalism meant applying new ideas to how stories were found, written, and presented. For the first time, it created a sense of obligation, not just to the paper and circulation, but also to the audience.
Just as Bennett had his imitators, so did Ochs. In fact, the press has imitated the principles he built into the New York Times since he took it over. Even now, when someone buys a paper at a newsstand, they don’t survey the headlines and buy the most sensational. They buy the paper they trust—the same goes for what radio stations they listen to and television news they watch. This is the subscription model, the brand model, invented by Ochs, internalized. It is selling on subscription and not by the story.

This is a V-Bi newspaper, people subscribe for long periods rather than the short time high energy option of one off Iv-B paper buys or going to web sites. More important is the average quality of news, people don't tend rush in to subscribe because of one story or unsubscribe on the margin either. It inspired Bi journalism being unionized as a reaction to V newspaper ownership leading to left wing consumer oriented journalism. Reputation becomes an average quality based on transparency and feeling the reporter is part of a team with the reader. Trust is the model rather than Iv-B deception and hype.

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