Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Who’s Going to Make Your News? And Who’s Going to Pay Them?

Who’s going to bring you your news in a couple of years: The likes of the New York Times (NYT) and The Wall Street Journal? Or someone whose tweets have been picked up by Google News?

All of the above, likely.

If you want to see this question get hashed out at length, check out the video below, which features reps from the Times, the Journal, Google (GOOG) and AOL (AOL) back-and-forthing for an hour-plus.

Their chat was part of a day-long event hosted by the Paley Center in New York last week, which was ostensibly about journalism education. But this one was really about the same discussion everyone in journalism has whenever there’s a spare minute: “Holy cow! What just happened to our industry, and what are we going to do next?”

If you’re still working in the journalism industry, you may be hard pressed to find a spare hour to watch five guys talk about the future of the journalism industry. But! If you are so inclined, this one is pretty good.

And if you paid glancing attention to this thing while it was going on, via Twitter, it may be refreshing to watch it yourself. Because while it’s great for some stuff, Twitter can be pretty lousy way to cover a panel discussion.

It turns out, for instance, that when the WSJ’s Alan Murray referred to Google’s Josh Cohen as a “promiscuous parasite,” he was making a joke. Which wasn’t clear at all when this got repeated in the Twitterstream.

See for yourself:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work