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Google Will Star In New Dow Jones News Model 95

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the free-will-find-a-way dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Dow Jones is getting set to launch a new aggregator, akin to Google News, which will charge Web users for access to high-quality journalism. 'The Journal is one of the many newspapers you might buy in one place and with one payment [...] Watch for it,' said Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton. However, rather than posing a threat to Google News, Andrew Keen, author and entrepreneur, says the aggregator will use Google as a critical partner. The only people who should be worried about this new model, says Keen, 'are all those lucky consumers who, over the last 15 years, have been getting their news for free.'"
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Google Will Star In New Dow Jones News Model

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  • Quick! (Score:2, Funny)

    by pHus10n (1443071)
    Someone tell MSNBC, CNN, and Foxnews they're no longer viable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Reason58 (775044)
      I've been saying this for years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AuMatar (183847)

      They said high quality. That completely eliminates Fox, and throws grave doubts on the other two.

    • by Bodhammer (559311)
      Well the article did say "high quality" so I'm not sure this applies to them...
    • He said high-quality journalism. I'm not sure if you're lumping MSN(BC) and Fox in with the high quality stuff, or if you're joking that they're going to be excluded from the new system.

      Personally I'd just like to SEE some truly high quality journalism these days. Woodward & Bernstein should've started a school which banned press releases and PR or something.

  • by tnk1 (899206) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:11PM (#28599773)

    Hey, all you people getting value for free, you'd better watch out! You have to pay us now... for what you already get for free! Take that!

    This guy must have been top of his class in Business School. I will follow his career with much interest.

    • by bheer (633842) <.rbheer. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:22PM (#28599919)

      I find this extremely ironic because today a columnist from _Reuters_ broke the big news story about the Goldman Sachs arrest. And Reuters has a very informative web site. While NY and Chicago papers (who should have broken the story because it happened in their cities) were snoozing.

      Controlling the aggregator won't making papers profitable. Delivering a service people _want to pay for_ (like Flickr, or WSJ, or the Economist) will make them profitable. And so far, local papers (even in bigger cities like Boston) are just not doing that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by aengblom (123492)

        I find this extremely ironic because today a columnist from _Reuters_ broke the big news story about the Goldman Sachs arrest. And Reuters has a very informative web site. While NY and Chicago papers (who should have broken the story because it happened in their cities) were snoozing.

        Controlling the aggregator won't making papers profitable. Delivering a service people _want to pay for_ (like Flickr, or WSJ, or the Economist) will make them profitable. And so far, local papers (even in bigger cities like Boston) are just not doing that.

        .... Reuters has several thousand journalists. Why would they not break major stories?

        • by zonky (1153039) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:40PM (#28600153)
          Because news collection just doesn't work like this at all.

          This book [amazon.co.uk] is well worth a read on how news is collected, and becomes news. It's quite depressing reading.
          • The book (Flat Earth News) linked to by the parent is indeed worth reading. It argues that media owners have tried to drive down costs by eliminating actual journalism, and that they have been largely successful in driving more principled competitors out of business.

            I think it is too late to reverse this trend.

            We will wind up with "news" sites which simply make available press releases. This is essentially what almost every media outlet is doing now, except that it also reproduces AP and Reuters. AP and Reu

        • by bheer (633842)

          > Reuters has several thousand journalists.

          Of course. But Reuters core businesses are news syndication, foreign reporting (which it can do because of the economies of scale generated by news syndication) and financial data (which probably contributes more to the bottom line than news syndication).

          The Goldman Sachs case was just the sort of thing the "city" papers claim they're set up for - investigative journalism, asking the hard questions, yada yada. Except it didn't happen. Why didn't the (NY) Times a

      • by MrCrassic (994046)
        While I agree with you, if you want to argue about locality, Thomson Reuter's headquarters are located right here in Times Square, and the company itself is broken up all over.
      • Don't worry about Boston, it's not a big college town.

  • by Greg_D (138979) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:12PM (#28599783)

    They not only started charging for their content, but stuck with it long after other companies had moved to horifically low paying internet ads. The result is that people who subscribe to the WSJ online expect to pay for content, whereas people who use other news sites expect to get their news for free.

  • So lets see here.

    Out of a ton of news aggregators, one is going to charge money for it? Clearly slashdot must feel threatened too.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bertoelcon (1557907)
      Wait I didn't realize slashdot was primarily news, the articles are just fluff. The comments are always a better read if you want to read a story.
      • Wait I didn't realize slashdot was primarily news, the articles are just fluff. The comments are always a better read if you want to read a story.

        Pay attention, it's at the top of each page: Slashdot. News for Herds. Comments that Matter. Or something. Can't be bothered to scroll up to read it.

    • Out of a ton of news aggregators

      Centralised news aggregators, even. Figuratively speaking, the personal aggregators on many peoples' desktops would amount to MORE than a "ton".

  • The WSJ must provide some compelling, unique content otherwise this will just become another irrelevant website, with only a few viewers and even less revenue.
  • The only people who should be worried about this new model, says Keen, 'are all those lucky consumers who, over the last 15 years, have been getting their news for free.

    I guess I will have to go back and get my news from the television for free. Oh well.

  • It's about time something like this happened. I am sick of hearing all the talk from newspapers about how evil the Internet is because they can't sell papers anymore, now maybe that they have finally decided to use a payment method for online news they will shut up. Will I actually pay for any of it? Probably not, I don't care that much about the type of news that is always reported in physical papers and there are plenty resources for science and tech news around that are not as concerned with the bottom l
  • Good pitch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by njfuzzy (734116) <ian@nOspAm.ian-x.com> on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:17PM (#28599847) Homepage
    Great marketing-- The only people who lose out are the consumers! That'll show the bastards!
  • by Palestrina (715471) * on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:19PM (#28599867) Homepage
    Maybe the public should start charging for making the news? Those damn newsies having been leeching off the deeds and misdeeds of the ordinary public from the beginning. Why should they get our stories for free? If it wasn't for us, the news would just be bad fiction printed on cheap paper. We should go on strike. No one do anything newsworthy for a week. That'll teach 'em!
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If it wasn't for us, the news would just be bad fiction printed on cheap paper.

      Ah yes, that would be so very different.

    • That's not fair! They print on very nice paper.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sorak (246725)

      No one do anything newsworthy for a week.

      We tried that. It backfired when the networks re branded it as reality programming.

    • by The Raven (30575)

      These strikes never work out. Every time we do nothing interesting for a week, the media just chooses some random person, labels them a 'celebrity', and writes about their boring life for a week. And for some reason, people pay money to read this gossip about ordinary folk.

  • Charging for high quality journalism? Wonder what NPR will do to the competition?
    • No, we have blogs. Blogs are not even close to journalism.


      NPR is not free - it's paid for by donations. I suggest you make some less you want to lose it. [npr.org]
      • NPR is not free - it's paid for by donations.

        I listen to NPR often, and I ain't paid nothing for it. So, it's free.

        • by pwfffff (1517213)

          And that makes you a jerk.

          (...me too)

  • by harmonise (1484057) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:21PM (#28599889)

    which will charge Web users for access to high-quality journalism.

    Does high-quality journalism even exist anymore?

    • by FireFly9 (1504637)
      It's very rare and hard to find! So much journalism today is to the left or to the right, they like to put there own spin on the news!! Therefore its not "high-quality" journalism. News is suppose to be free, NEVER EVER paid for!!! But in the meantime, Andrew Keen, "futue te ipsum" that's Latin for - You go fuck yourself!!!!!!!
    • "The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits... a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage."
  • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:23PM (#28599925) Homepage

    Hinton is saying that the only people who shouldn't be happy with his new business plan are the very people he needs to voluntarily pay for his service? Somebody didn't think this through.

    • Yes, do feel free to get this straight. You're attributing the quote to the wrong person. It's author and entrepreneur Andrew Keen who's stating that the consumers should be worried, not Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton.

      I'm not sure how your post got modded +5 Insightful. I know it's traditional around here not to read the article, but you'd think people would at least read the summary.

      • by Itchyeyes (908311)

        I did read the summary. I merely looked at the wrong name while I was typing my comment (god forbid somebody make a mistake posting on an internet forum). And I was immediately aware of the mistake after I hit the submit button. Unfortunately /. does not allow editing of comments, so it will forever remain there waiting for self important people to come along and nit pick the one minor detail.

        • In that case, my apologies for pointing out your mistake, a mistake which completely invalidates the point you were trying to make, and which you couldn't be bothered to correct for yourself even after you spotted it straight away. I guess my rampant self-importance got the better of me.

  • "So Google -- which has never been in the content business -- will become the all-important vehicle that will deliver the punters to the Dow Jones walled garden of news."

    So if I understand this correctly, after railing about how Google was leeching off of others without paying a dime, Hinton is now going to use Google for his own profit without paying Google a dime...
    • So if I understand this correctly, after railing about how Google was leeching off of others without paying a dime, Hinton is now going to use Google for his own profit without paying Google a dime...

      Yeah, it's payback time! Kind of.

  • Really... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:26PM (#28599973)

    ...which will charge Web users for access to high-quality journalism.

    So... they'll do quality fact checking back to prime sources, not Wikipedia?
    And... they'll report conflicts of interest not only among their subjects but with their corporate overlord?
    And... they'll report which moneyed interests stand to gain, every time?
    And... they'll never ever ever accept paid publicity or promotional materials and report them as news?
    And... they'll stop reporting what Britney Spears is doing?
    And... they'll never invent another word like Brangelina again?
    And... they'll carefully write political copy using neutral, non-loaded words and phrases, without bias?

    Color me skeptical...

    I would laugh, but it's too farkin' pathetic. "High-quality". Right...

    • Re:Really... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Gizzmonic (412910) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:33PM (#28600053) Homepage Journal

      Your knee-jerk cynicism changes nothing. As bad as the press is, a world without them would be even worse. Instead of celebrity-driven news like CNN, you'd have Stan the Basement Blogger picking apart a press release from Apple ad nauseum. And there is no guarantee of bloggers' neutrality, either. Good journalism costs money-yet doing good journalism doesn't often make money, and often can hinder an organization's ability to make money. The US needs a BBC.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It wasn't knee-jerk cynicism. It was carefully considered, well-informed, long-nurtured cynicism.

        Other than that, you're right.

      • The US needs a BBC.

        It would never work. No one would understand the foreign accents.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        you'd have Stan the Basement Blogger picking apart a press release from Apple ad nauseum.

        But Dr Evil, that has already happened.

    • Yeah. Because none of those have ever been a problem with other news sources, be they free or community, or blogger, or otherwise? I mean, just look at WP...
  • I don't think Dow Jones is targeting the average consumer, but are targeting higher-end financial consumers, investors, financial advisers, etc. Maybe they are mostly "old" people ;)

    In the financial world, there are still plenty of vendors who charge for their content-- Barron's, financial newsletters, Bloomberg's "Professional" news products, etc.

    Overall, these vendors generally (But not always) provide good-quality, in-depth articles and opinions. People will read their copy of Barron's like a student reads a book, complete with bookmarks and highlighters.

    While the free sites are cheap, many of the news sites are filled with noise, the forums are filled with scams (The comments at finance.google.com are entertaining to read).

       

  • The Missing Link (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:32PM (#28600049)

    Dow Jones is getting set to launch a new aggregator, akin to Google News, which will charge Web users for access to high-quality journalism.

    Great idea.

    The only problem is a complete lack of high quality journalism today.

    Since they plan to aggregate instead of provide something new, the idea is dead before it began.

  • ...read the first two words of this article as "George Will"? I gotta stop watching ABC News so much.
  • Customers will love paying for what they already get for free, because people love throwing money away, amirite?
  • One of the things that's helped Google get away with aggregating other people's contents on their news service is the fact that Google News is non-commercial, doesn't run ads, and doesn't represent a revenue stream for Google. And they still got sued several times. If Dow Jones wants to do something similar, but charge for it, they may find themselves facing a whole stream of lawsuits, and may find that their defense is a lot less effective.

  • " ... are all those lucky consumers who, over the last 15 years, have been getting their news for free."

    I find your ideas intriguing, and would like to subscribe to your ... wait, how much?

    Forget it.

  • by mstroeck (411799) on Monday July 06, 2009 @06:20PM (#28600609) Homepage

    News will now remain free. If the major providers put their shit behind pay-walls, one of two things will happen:

    1) There's already a thriving eco-system of ad-financed blogs and other sites that basically do nothing but sift through, reword and extensively "quote" the stuff behind the login-prompts. These sites will just get bigger and stronger, eventually hiring more of their own staff. Since that's 90% of what traditional newspapers have been doing since the dawn of time, there is more than enough precedent for this business model.

    2) If the going get's really tough, Wikinews or some other major non-profit payer will become as hugely popular as Wikipedia is now. If Britannica or Brockhaus had made all their content available for free under a reasonably license for personal use, Wikipedia would probably not be where it is now.

  • Dow Jones has been running a news search and database service called Factiva ( http://www.factiva.com/ [factiva.com] ) since 1999. It is primarily used in business (although they do take credit cards) and is a serious news database - thousands of news sources fed directly to it, taxonomies, APIs, the works. Head to head it kicks Google News' ass. If Dow Jones is developing a consumer version it could have a number of advantages over Google News that users may be willing to shell out for.
  • by Orange Crush (934731) on Monday July 06, 2009 @06:57PM (#28601047)

    I've tended to roll my eyes at the newspapers whining about Google "stealing" their content. Changing their robots.txt is all it takes to keep Google's filthy little mits off their precious news sites. Of course, that also kills all of the free traffic the Google drives to their site--and pay wall or no, no readers means no ad views, clicks, and subscriptions.

    Now . . . what exactly is this new model being proposed? Letting Google aggregate all the little news snippets and blurbs, but funneling all that traffic to a bigger walled garden containing multiple publications for a single fee is what this sounds like. If they get enough people on board, it might work. Or it might go the way of most non-porn paysites on the Internet and fail miserably. (My money's still on the "fail miserably" end result. I'm not seeing what's so terribly innovative about this.)

    Newsgathering costs money, sure. And there should be ways of making that money. But it's going to take a bit more cleverness on the newspaper's parts than simply publishing online behind a pay wall. If they can't figure that out, then they deserve to fail and be replaced with something that does figure it out.

    • I think they are starting to shake down the ISPs. Maybe in the future internet access will also pay for some content.
    • > I'm not seeing what's so terribly innovative about this.

      As I watch the stock indexes crashing and zooming with absolutely no related "news" being reported AT THE TIME, I'm almost sure someone said something or, some related event occured that's not being reported. Sure enough, wait until tomorrow and get to read about why the market burped as it did the day before.

      Now, if you think about it a few seconds, you might wonder how the market got wind of this and you or I did not. I'm pretty sure it w
  • "High quality" news from the man who brings you Fox News, the New York Post, the Sun.....
  • The "high quality" comment almost made me pee my pants. Less optional stuff for me to read.

  • Maybe this will cause a split - between the people who pay for their news and the people who will read random (free) blog style news.

    Imagine the difference in world view. The split and level of knowledge of 'real news' may depend on wealth - not an ideal situation ..... However then again if Fox news charges and loses viewers this could help towards world peace....
  • I can imagine a newspaper pulling in money online by having free readers that can only read the body of news articles that are more than 30m-1hr old or possibly only short summaries of articles newer. And then having "premium subscribers" that pay a small fee to be able to read the news articles instantly with full coverage and analysis.

    Possibly also having other premium features like ad free pages etc. Kinda like slashdot but more restricted.

    Where are the weakness in this business model?

    • Screen scrapers will grab the current articles and put them online wrapped with their own advertisments.
  • I've had at least one newspaper delivered to my house every day for the last few years, and I have not paid for a single one. My current free papers are the Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times.

    It never fails - one way or another, I get free paper offers that usually last 6 months to a year. Usually they come in the mail (both home and work), or from an offer through my credit card company. The two local papers in my area occasionally drop their papers on my doorstep for a few months hoping to "hook"

  • After >30 years of journalism students being taught not to report the facts but to shape society, there is no high quality journalism. As an oxymoron "high-quality journalism" will never be as popular as "common sense", nor as misunderstood.

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