Google 5, Newspapers 0

Among the many things worth reading this week, there’s this from Will Oremus in Slate. Using a chart that demonstrates that Google (worldwide) generates more advertising revenue than the entire US print media combined, Oremus recalls the origins of the newspapers’ “partnership” with Google:

The newspaper industry was willing to play along, if only for lack of a better idea. Gary Pruitt, then the CEO of McClatchy Newspapers and now CEO of the Associated Press, said, “We take comfort from Charles Darwin’s observation that it’s not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. We just need to be adaptable.”

Flash forward half a decade, and it turns out that newspapers weren’t the strongest, the most intelligent, or the most adaptable. They’ve continued to churn out the same content while watching their advertisers steadily flee for sites like Craigslist, Yahoo, the Huffington Post/AOL, Facebook, and yes, Google.

Continue reading: Google eats the newspaper industry and five other must-reads

On long-form journalism…

Broadly pegged to the launch of Matter, Jim Giles and Bobbie Johnson’s new publishing venture, I’ve put some thoughts together on long-form journalism and the internet.

You can read it over at the Press Gazette in full. Here are some extracts:

The growing market for smart devices is undoubtedly fuelling the demand for publications like Matter and giving post-print hope to weekly and monthly magazine publishers.

Twenty three per cent of visits to this site, for instance, come from people using Android-based phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads. That’s 150 per cent growth year-on-year. The weekday, office-hour peaks that used to define the patterns of internet consumption have been flattened by weekend and evening browsing as people lean back and, increasingly, luxuriate in longer forms of journalism. Among other things.

Yet this is not just about the tablet. Long-form works on the desktop too.

The single most read piece during my time running was Hugh Grant’s undercover interview with former News of the World hack Paul McMullan. It has 14,000 Facebook likes, just short of 12,000 retweets and has been read around a million times. And it runs to 3,000 words.

Matter is a digital publication down to its last pixel – from its commissioning model, to its micropayments and even its funding viaKickstarter – but it offers encouragement and a potential direction of travel for traditional publishers.

Continue reading