In December the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a series of workshops titled “From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?”
Excerpted from an FTC press release (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/08/news2009.shtm):
“The workshops will bring competition, consumer protection, and First Amendment perspectives to bear on the financial, technological, and other challenges facing the news industry as consumers increasingly turn to the Internet for free news and information, advertisers increasingly move their ads onto online sites and reduce advertising buys as a result of the recession, and news organizations struggle with large debt that was taken on when times were better.”
“The workshops will consider a wide range of issues, including: the economics of journalism and how those economics are playing out on the Internet and in print; the wide variety of new business and non-profit models for journalism online; factors relevant to the new economic realities for news organizations, such as behavioral and other targeted online advertising, online news aggregators, and bloggers; and the variety of governmental policies – including antitrust, copyright, and tax policy – that have been raised as possible means of finding new ways for journalism to thrive.”
The Digital Age has changed how we consume information and who is delivering that information. News organization are obviously feeling the impact and having to consider new business models. With the FTC wading into discussions around the Fourth Estate and with it the role of user-generated content and new technologies, we should all pay close attention. These conversations and their outcomes could have significant ramifications across our business and that of our clients. Stay tuned.
Senior Vice President
Director of Public Relations, North America