Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On the future of media - What's the wheat? What's the chaff?

Knowledge@Wharton presents its perspectives on the emerging media landscape: the tussle between user-generated content and 'professional' content in The Experts vs. the Amateurs: A Tug of War over the Future of Media

Whitehouse distinguishes professional content on the basis of its editorial process. "Carefully checked sources and consistent editorial guidelines are key differences between most professional and amateur content," he suggests, while noting that, "Both bring value. The latter brings quickness and a personal viewpoint and the former provides analysis and consistent quality. The world I want to live in includes healthy doses of both categories."

"Where the distinction between amateur and professional content matters is in business models," says Werbach. "For certain kinds of quality content, no blog can match The New York Times, but producing the Times is far more expensive than a blog. If users aren't willing to pay to support the kind of professional journalism the Times provides, something significant will be lost. And that's increasingly happening, because traditional business models for newspapers and TV rely on unrelated advertising revenues to fund quality content. The Internet is disintermediating those dollars."
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