my Aspen Institute future of news theme: trust is the new black

my Aspen Institute future of news theme: trust is the new black

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Next week, I visit the Aspen Institute Communications and Society program, the theme is Models for Preserving American Journalism.

I figure I'll focus on the basics…

More people need to get the message that the news orgs that thrive in the future will be the most trustworthy ones.

That includes fact-checking, and a clear separation between reporting and financial needs.

Also, it might be okay for tabloids to manufacture conflict and controversy, if done transparently, but not okay to fake stuff.

I'll be bringing this up a lot, maybe annoyingly so, but I feel strongly that trust is the biggest of all success factors in news.

The Twitter tag to follow this is #focas09

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3 Comments

Emil Sotirov

OK… so one of the pillars of trust would be "a clear separation between reporting and financial needs."
We (at our company) developed a prototype of a service – fully functional on http://juicetorrent.com – that totally separates quality content (like independent news reporting) from the space where the revenue is generated.
It is a simple idea.
The revenue is generated on the new media space owned (or controlled) by all of us (the consumers of news) – not owned by the content creator (like in the traditional media model). This new media space are our own blogs (like your blog here, Craig), personal websites, and any other personal web interfaces (like Twitter clients) which we can control at least partially… and which are where we will be doing most of our media consumption anyway.
With JuiceTorrent, you direct (your own) ad revenue to organizations that you want to support. You can start, stop, redirect the flow of revenue according to your current concerns, affiliations, urgencies, likes and dislikes – with just a click. It is not a payment system – it is a relationship system.
It is still ad revenue (the classical media revenue source) – but it flows from you to the those you support. You (we) are the patron(s) – not the advertiser.
I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on this.

Katherine Warman Kern

Trust is key to circulation and monetization. Through fair coverage of all sides of issue so the reader may get smarter have clearer, educated opinions – this is something one will pay for. Evidence: the Economist. 1.4 Million circ X 125 = $175 Million/YR. This revenue gives them the choice to determine what advertising they will accept and where to put it, furthering credibility with their readers. @comradity

Emil Sotirov

Craig – here are the main points about JuiceTorrent (since you asked on Twitter), in no particular order:
1. Gives organizations and individuals (we call them JT stars) the possibility to start their own self-expanding ad networks through the blogs and websites of their fans and supporters.
2. Gives people (fans and supporters) an easy way to start and manage micro-streams of ad revenue from their own blogs and websites – and join them into meaningful "torrents" going directly to entities (JT stars) they choose to support.
3. Gives the JT stars a fast and easy way to plug into and test/compare contextual ad markets (Google AdSense, YPN) without the hassle of changing ad code and micromanaging ad placement.
4. Makes (ad)sense out of the largely unused micro-pools of ad space controlled by the new class of (personal) media owners and publishers – "the people formerly known as the audience."
5. Creates a new category of social vectors across online identities of people and organizations – adding the moral/material dimension of "supporting" to the existing "linking," "friending," "visiting," and "following." JuiceTorrent makes the act of "supporting" inherently social. JuiceTorrent creates instant and fluid communities of support around each supported entity.
6. Separates "utility" advertising from "high quality" content while keeping the economic link between them. Mortgage ads on my blog where I rant about home prices will support the independent star blogger/journalist/artist I admire and follow daily… or the Red Cross… or both. JT "stars" can stay as high minded, ad free, and/or commercially non-viable as they wish – while the ads on my blog can be trivial, pedestrian, useful, and indeed effective.
7. Gives content creators a possibility to establish ongoing flows of exchange – streaming content for streaming support – as opposed to the discreet consumption/transaction models of the industrial era past.
More here:
http://sotirov.com/category/juicetorrent/

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