Ross Dawson on the Future of News

What does the future of news consumption look like? Pretty much exactly opposite from the current paywall and paid circulation models in play now, says Nikolay Malyarov in Fipp.

Malyarov cites Ross Dawson and his “provocative” predictions about newspapers and the news media. He said a successful news strategy now comes down to aggregation, personalization and community.

From a news consumer point of view, he’s probably right when he says “The goal is not only for news brands to offer value to participants, but to give participants the ability to create value as well. To truly create community, it is about creating connections between individuals.”

Unfortunately for news publishers, this goal doesn’t fit nicely (or even at all) with the current business model trend of tightening access to the news. Plus, according to Malyarov, “today’s promiscuous news consumers trust search engines more than traditional media brands.”

Now comes Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles, set to push this dissonance even further. These services offer the golden trio: they are all about aggregation, personalization and community by their very nature.

News brands, meanwhile, missed an early opportunity to get out ahead of that trend.

“…instead of capitalising on new opportunities to connect with readers, and readers with each other, many publishers have muzzled their audiences, blaming trolls and declaring ‘brand protection’ as excuses for denying readers a voice in the news,” Malyarov notes.

What does Dawson suggest?

Tear down the walls.  Question everything. And don’t let non-news interests steal your thunder.

“Listen up publishers…It’s time to tear down your content walls, question all the rules of your past and work together as an industry to create a social network for aggregated news before the new bullies on the block build it first and steal your audience, ad dollars and ability to connect with people through news,” says Malyarov.


Is it already too late, or can the news media industry save itself by offering the news and connections consumers crave without the intrusive data collecting and monetizing of Apple and FB?  As we’ve said before, this is getting interesting.