al berrios & co. CONSUMER STRATEGIES REPORT 07.01.03: Expecting Too Much From The Press - The Future of News Content Part 2
THIS WEEK'S CONTENTS ARE:
 UPDATES: Homepage v.26, Call For Art and Research, Exec Summary
 MEDIA: Expecting Too Much From The Press - The Future of News Content Part 2
 TRADE EVENT REPORT: A Free Press and the Public Trust, + + + +
 TRADE EVENT REPORT: PROMAX&BDA & RTNDA Ratings Roadshow, + + +
 TRADE EVENT REPORT: IAB's Leadership Forum: B2B Breakthroughs, + +
 TRADE EVENT REPORT: The 2003 Wireless Leadership Summit, + +
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK
"If you are inconsistent in your feelings, you will lose dignity and trust." - Wang Xi, The Art of War
Another week, another homepage redesign. This week, version 26. All feedback is welcome.
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Recently, I've decided to let you know the various areas we are currently researching to feature in our REPORTS. For an overview, see our redesigned homepage under "researching" and if you can contribute in any way, reply to this email.
This week's REPORTS covers four different industry meetings I attended, and a much needed analysis of the business of journalism, following in the heels of our first review: "The Future of News Content".
Enjoy your report!
Continue to read: "Expecting Too Much From The Press - The Future of News Content Part 2" >>
How disappointing it was to me that the only thing great journalists had to say about the many, many challenges facing their industry was tough luck, but we're trying. Joshua Mills, Tom Goldstein, Dorothy Rabinowitz, Jan Schaffer, and Geneva Overholser, all professors at various j-schools across the country and distinguished journalists themselves (four of them having even worked at the New York Times), believe that news organizations, particularly newspapers weren't policing themselves enough, had plenty of egos, biases, hasn't lost credibility with readers, don't know how to battle decreasing readership, and that the fundamentals about journalism, such as fact-gathering, need to be improved, which will ultimately solve everything.
Clearly educated, but supremely ignorant of all things non-newsworthy, I was shocked to learn how narrow-minded many were about their business. Perhaps it was the discussion for this particular Baruch College-sponsored event didn't touch on these points, strictly focusing on public trust. But how can a discussion on trust be had without discussing advertisers, the education of journalists, and a grasp for what their readers are like? If this is the caliber of the folks responsible for telling me what's what, then expect evolution to make a full 180 degrees on humanity's progress shortly.
Hosted at one of Baruch College's many bright, shiny, new Vertical Campus meeting rooms, it seated about 75 people comfortably, although I don't think this many even attended. Food was served, and since I didn't expect it, it was very good. Coffee and cookies were also on hand for what turned out to be just another event where you could have gotten fed for free. Even with an hour and a half for questions, the panelists mostly vented and offered very little perceptible answers to why we as news readers should continue to trust them.
I didn't give up, though and upon conclusion of the panel, I probed them personally on their thoughts on how to educate students to prevent biases and ethical breaches in professional journalism, in spite of such powerful forces like declining readership, profitability, and adsales. Maybe it was my informal attire that day, but the responses I received were insulting and bordering on incompetent. "People make mistakes," so it can't really be taught, said Tom Goldstein, a former college president.
So, why did I give this event a "very strong academically and for networking"? Well, I would never have realized the poor-level of professionalism in America's newsrooms without having attended this event, so I learned plenty. And out of sheer coincidence, the wife of the president of the college and her nephew sat right next to me, so I networked like it was going out of style.
Believe it or not, I actually attended this event totally by mistake. As I was looking for one event, I sat in on this one. Yes, I realized I was in the wrong meeting after 2 minutes, however, the subject matter being covered (branding your news product) was interesting enough for me to stay for at least 2 hours. This workshop was held in one very uncomfortable room of the Marriott Marquis the entire day (which really sucks after a long 9 hours) and the food was clearly not a priority. However, I felt it made up for it in content. Based on what's on the Promax website, these workshops are currently being held all across the U.S. to demonstrate to broadcast stations how they can compete with stronger market rivals, whether through marketing or improved programming. Be warned, this event would render anyone not in the industry bored out of their skull. It really wasn't designed for anyone but broadcast station marketing personnel in mind.
Boy, can Greg Stuart (president of the IAB) talk. The man is like the voice of that guy that reads the disclaimers at the end of car commercials. He zipped along so quickly that he made internet time look slow. I vaguely recall much of anything he talked about.
Although the speakers were entertaining, I didn't feel they contributed much to current industry knowledge. I basically felt like I sat through several hours of agency commercials, concluded by a sponsorship drive by the IAB.
The meeting called for improved creative and research to reach business executives, then offered specialized workshops to train attendees in how the IAB wants you to do it. The attendees were mostly tech firms and b2b ad firms. The food was actually top notch. The venue, the W Hotel on Lexington and 51st st. here in New York was extremely modern, however, so modern I spent a whole 5 minutes trying to figure out how to use the men's room faucets. (I know, I know ) And don't let the plenty of posh interior decorating fool you - this hotel is so small, even a Feng Shui expert would give up.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend attending. For $1,750 there are plenty of other, more valuable academic and networking opportunities you can find.
Yawn. I've attended several wireless events in the last few months and this one was hands-down, one of the more boring. I'll admit, I was biased and unprepared. I expected something more consumer-focused, however, this didn't turn out to be the case. Hosted by the Yankee Group, a tech consultancy, at the increasingly more attractive to me personally Marriott Marquis in Times Square New York, this event was purely about the technology involved in creating the wireless market - how much it costs, how to integrate, and all of the very granular details most senior executives don't get involved with anyway.
If you're a techie, which I am, it's still boring. The food sucked, too - buffet style and messy. And they actually had the nerve to host this over two days, the first of which I missed to attend another meeting. But if the first day was anything like the second, then I know I didn't miss much. Thank goodness it was, like, 1000 degrees outside, otherwise I may have actually had an enjoyable stroll back to the equally inferno-like oven they call the New York City MTA.
AL BERRIOS & CO. ARTICLES:
"Consect Global Wireless Summit 2003"
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