Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘texas tribune

Texas News You Can Use

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So Rupert Murdoch is suggesting that he may soon make News Corp. content unfindable to Google searchers, soon being after he launches his paid content strategy.

But as the mUmBRELLA blog from Australia points out, all Murdoch and team need do is block said content from the Google index using the robots.txt protocol.

My only question to News Corp. is, isn’t that kind of like making yourself invisible in cyberspace?

Unless, of course, you want to be invisible, in which case, have at it.

Hey, I understand it’s a difficult time for many major media in terms of economics. ¬†As someone who studied mass communications for his master’s degree, I can relate to the massive earthshaking taking place in the media industry: Craig’s List classifieds, dwindling readership, less advertisers…I get it.

On the other hand, all media have always been about gaining individual attention, and if the attention stream is now defined through search engines instead of the front page, that’s a reality that must be reckoned with.

New realities bring new business models — just take the new Texas Tribune, which former Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith left one of the seemingly cushiest magazine jobs around right here in Austin to help co-found.

The Tribune positions itself as a “non-profit, nonpartisan public media organization,” whose mission is “to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern.”

The Tribune launched in record time (I think I read their site build was less than 6 weeks) on November 3, and it’s “About Us” page suggests that folks should read the Tribune and their local paper.

It also says that the Tribune will cover a “full range of big, important topics, including immigration, education, transportation, health care, water, the environment, criminal justice, energy, poverty — pretty much every line in the state budget.”

They had me going until that last line, but hey, maybe there’s more to the Texas state budget than meets the eye.

The point being, they at least aspire to provide coverage that is geared towards bringing sunshine into the political process and telling stories about public policy and government that impact the lives of millions of Texans, rather than focusing all their attention exclusively on the latest bright and shiny object.

Not without some irony, the major media — in this case, The New York Times — wrote an organizational profile piece today about the Tribune, explaining how that instead of going deep on the Ft. Hood shootings last Friday, the Texas Tribune was instead focusing on the “50 highest paid state employees and an exclusive about a state representative who had switched parties.”

I am glad to see a new news entity here in Texas moving beyond the sensational and into public service journalism, and hope the new sunshine can also help make some rain for the citizens of Texas, while also making payroll for the Texas Tribune.

As for Rupert Murdoch, I wish him and his News Corp. properties good luck with turning off the Google attention stream.

If he needs some help, here’s some instructions for disabling that robots.txt file.

It’s not very often you get to see a world-renowned media celebrity play virtual Russian Roulette.

Written by turbotodd

November 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm

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