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Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get

Ken Doctor

St. Martin's Press

Newsonomics Download image

ISBN10: 0312598939
ISBN13: 9780312598938


240 Pages



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Reports of the death of the news media are highly premature, though you wouldn't know it from the media's own headlines. Ken Doctor goes far beyond those headlines, taking an authoritative look at the fast-emerging future.

The Twelve Laws of Newsonomics reveal the kinds of news that readers will get and that journalists (and citizens) will produce as we enter the first truly digital news decade.

A new Digital Dozen, global powerhouses from The New York Times, News Corp, and CNN to NBC, the BBC, and NPR will dominate news across the globe, Locally, a colorful assortment of emerging news players, from Boston to San Diego, are rewriting the rules of city reporting,

Newsonomics provides a new sense of the news we'll get on paper, on screen, on the phone, by blog, by podcast, and via Facebook and Twitter. It also offers a new way to understand the why and how of the changes, and where the Googles, Yahoos and Microsofts fit in. Newsonomics pays special attention to media and journalism students in a chapter on the back-to-the-future skills they'll need, while marketing professionals get their own view of what the changes mean to them.


Praise for Newsonomics

"The day in late January I received a copy of Ken Doctor's Newsonomics in the mail, I realized that Ken had something special. The book finally gives focus to the people seriously interested in thinking about how the news has changed from a successful business model to content desperately searching for a model that will allow it to survive. Three hours after receiving the book I made it one of the three books my class needed to read this semester. Within a couple of weeks, after I spent some quality time with it, I concluded the book will be the spine of the first month of the class next semester. My students appreciate the aptness of Doctor's book, too. One student began her class report advising other students to read the book because 'it really is closely related to our syllabus.' Ken has been able to capture the essence of the radical upheaval in the news business at the same time he built a construct to look at future changes. He accomplishes that neat trick by developing 12 laws he argues have shaped the changes in news we are seeing every day. He argues those 12 laws also offer students, entrepreneurs and media executives a way out of the current morass. The book is readable, easy for students to grasp and full of tangible examples of media struggles. He organizes his material around his 12 laws which makes the book easy to follow and even easier from which to teach. Consistent with modern design, Doctor effectively uses Newsonomics101 boxes to provide effective sidebars to the text . . . There are lots of things to love about Newsonomics. I think Doctor's Digital Dozen point is provocative as hell . . . I think the book offers a nice primer on start-up business models. While his chapter about 'Itch the Niche' is not novel, it is very well done and it resonated particularly well with my students. I don't want to be a spoiler, but I also love Doctor's comparison of newspapers to the U.S. Postal Service. Clever. The best part of a fine book for me is the last chapter. Ken calls it Mind the Gaps. He indicates that those gaps between established media and upstart media may actually be crevasses, but he forcefully advises journalists where they have to hustle to get close to competitive . . . A media CEO friend of mine was impressed with the book but found it 'journalism-oriented.' I gave my friend a hard time about that and said something like 'so what's the problem?' While I see the CEO's point, I think Ken Doctor's success with this book is his ability to respect journalism and journalists while calling them to the ramparts to fight the business model war of their life."—Tim McGuire, the Frank Russell Chair for the Business of Journalism, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University

"Ken Doctor is one of the smartest people I know in the news business. Where so many people have their heads in the clouds or under the table, he faced reality a long time ago. He gets the economics, the technology, and the personalities of the new news world. He knows the winners from the losers. His book is quite simply the best primer so far to the future of the news."—Michael Wolff, author of The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch

"The business model to fund journalism is broken. Ken Doctor picks up the pieces and offers hope to those smart and brave enough to embrace change."—Gordon Crovitz, former Publisher, Wall Street Journal, co-founder Journalism Online

"This is a wonderfully informative and conversationally written book that should be a must read for anyone interested in the future of journalism. Newsonomics captures the energy, passion, creativity and opportunity of this transformational period for journalism and the media. It's fun to read and full of relevant facts and context."—Robert J. Rosenthal, Executive Director, Center for Investigative Reporting

"Ken Doctor is one of the most important and readable analysts in media today. With Newsonomics, he creates some optimism that there is a way to navigate the difficult terrain. Newsonomics is a must-read and will leave you energized."—Bernie Lunzer, President of The Newspaper Guild-CWA

"Whether you are in the news business or some other industry, Newsonomics, offering sensible ideas for moving forward in any business, is a case study on how quickly your business model can be transformed."—Clare Hart, President, Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group

"Media analyst and former managing editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Doctor offers his take on 12 trends currently shaping the dissemination of news by the mass media. In detail-packed chapters (with one trend per chapter), the author discusses the endlessly available news content, how the 'digital dozen' media behemoths are pairing global reach with an increased focus on local news, the importance of niche publishing and advertising, the differences between amateur blogging reporters and professional reporter bloggers, and more. Each chapter also includes sidebars about various aspects of the old and new journalism models and Q&As with an impressive cross section of new media players. Although the story of how content is produced and consumed has been covered before (think Chris Anderson's Free and David Weinberger's Everything Is Miscellaneous), Doctor manages to strike a new tone that's well balanced between nostalgia for the old world and acceptance of (as well as optimism for) the new. VERDICT Doctor's analysis might be a bit detailed for the recreational reader, but it's essential reading for journalism students and those interested in media culture."—Sarah Statz Cords, The Reader's Advisor Online, Library Journal

"Doctor spent 21 years working in various capacities for the Knight Ridder media empire until the company's sale in 2006, and he offers an overview of the very changes that swept him out the door. But far from expressing bitterness about the barrage of blogs and Web sites that have brought old media giants like his former employer to their knees, Doctor is an enthusiastic, even giddy champion of how advances in digital technology are reshaping news media. He reels off buzzwords and corny catchphrases (It's all beta, baby; I'm not a Chump, I'm a Champion), but sheds little in the way of insight, analysis, or, frankly, news. His rules for newsonomics tend to be disappointingly obvious: Create multimedia, aggregate, blog, master the technology, and market virally. Perhaps to compensate for the lack of substance, Doctor has tricked out the book with sidebars, bullet-point lists, and interview transcripts, emulating the eye-catching style so prevalent in the blogosphere. In doing so, he inadvertently draws attention to what some might consider the chief limitation of the digital boom—that for all the technical innovation, there's still no substitute for good writing and solid reporting."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1. In the Age of Darwinian Content, You Are Your Own Editor
"It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper." —JERRY SEINFELD
"Control your own...

About the author

Ken Doctor

KEN DOCTOR spent twenty-one years with Knight Ridder, long the country's second-largest newspaper company until its sale in 2006. He served in key editorial and executive roles and then completed his career there as VP/Editorial, VP/Strategy and VP/Content Services for Knight Ridder Digital in San Jose. He writes the popular Content Bridges blog, serves as news industry analyst for the research and advisory firm Outsell, and appears frequently on television and radio as a media expert.

Simon Bannister

Ken Doctor

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