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Newsonomics: The Washington Post offers an Arc in the storm
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Articles by Ken Doctor

Ken Doctor is a news industry analyst and the author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get (St. Martin’s Press). He also runs the book’s companion website, He is an analyst for the research firm Outsell and a regular consultant and speaker. He spent 21 years with Knight Ridder in a variety of roles, including as managing editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and as a vice president of Knight Ridder Digital.
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Can publishers find a sustainable business model this new age of Facebook/Apple/Snapchat/Twitter/Google distributed content? And is local news destined to be left behind?
From video to social, from mobile to paywalls — these data points help define where we are in the “future of news” today, like it or not.
FILE - In this April 17, 2007 file photo, exhibitors work on laptop computers in front of an illuminated sign of the Google logo at the industrial fair Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany. According to numbers the company released Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, nearly 145,000 requests have been made in the European Union and four other countries by people looking to polish their online reputations. That’s an average of more than 1,000 requests a day since late May, when Google began accepting submissions to comply with a European court decision that ruled some embarrassing information about people’s lives can be scrubbed from search results. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)
Whether they’d do it out of benevolence, fear of regulators, or the quest for a competitive advantage, Google could be of real service to the news industry and the broader cause of journalism. Here’s how.
Taking Montreal’s La Presse as its model, The Star is set to debut Star Touch — evidence of its belief that tablets offer higher engagement (and higher potential revenues) than smartphones or desktop.
The Montreal daily is probably closer than any other major North American newspaper to shutting off the presses and going digital-only. But can a strategy based on tablets — whose sales have flattened — succeed in the long term?
With venture funders itching for an exit, a few corporate giants — Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, the new Charter — could end up owning many of the entrepreneurial news brands that have captured attention in recent years. Big is eating small.
The pricetag would be high, but it might be worth it to reassemble one part of the old newspaper bundle — tying together local news and local services.
It’s taken lots of cuts to keep American newspaper companies even slightly profitable. But without better cashflow, they’ll continue to struggle to build the next version of the industry.
The purchase of U-T San Diego by Tribune Publishing — owners of the Los Angeles Times up the road — is a sign of the kind of newspaper consolidation publishers are being pushed toward.
With two major partnership moves, The Guardian’s Andrew Miller is trying to find a stronger position for premium publishers in a Google/Facebook-dominated world.
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