Bill Keller über die Zukunft der Nachrichten

Bill Keller, Chefredakteur der New York Times, hat in London einen Vortrag über die Zukunft der Zeitung bzw. die Zukunft der Nachrichten on- wie offline gehalten. Bei Guardian Unlimited kann man seine Rede nachlesen, hier einige spannende Auszüge:

A journalism professor at the University of North Carolina, named Philip Meyer, has done some studies about the decline of American newspaper readership. His extrapolation of the data shows that, if newspapers do nothing to change their ways, they will lose their very last reader in the year 2044. In October, if you want to mark your calendars.


I believe with all my heart that newspapers – whether they are distributed to your doorstep, your laptop, your iPhone or a chip implanted in your cerebral cortex – will be around for a long time. Newspapers, including at least a few very good newspapers, will survive, simply put, because of that basic law of market economics: supply and demand. The supply of what we produce is sadly diminishing. And the demand has never been greater.


The truth is, people crave more than raw information. What they crave, and need, is independent judgment, someone they can trust to vouch for the information, dig behind it, and make sense of it. The more discerning readers want depth, they want scepticism, they want context, they want the material laid out in a way that honours their intelligence, they might even welcome a little wit and grace and style.

The newspaper companies that will offer these things 20 years from now will be different, even more different than today’s newspapers are from the newspapers of 20 years ago. We are already changing before your eyes, morphing into hybrid newsrooms that produce journalism in print and on-line, and racing to invent enough revenue from our growing websites to compensate for the diminishing returns in print.


The curse of a journalist is that he always has more questions than answers. A question at least as interesting as ‚will we survive?‘ is, how will the new medium change us? There is no doubt that as we manipulate the medium, it manipulates us back, so that for someone in my job the challenge is not just to generate revenues, but to retain the best qualities of the New York Times. How do we meet a deadline every minute, while giving our reporters the time for depth, reflection and analysis? How do we conjoin text with video and audio without becoming, like much of television news, a slave to the loudest and most garish stories? How do we succeed in a world where every click is measured, without succumbing to the pull of ratings and neglecting the important, complicated story that lacks sex appeal?

I’d love to answer those questions for you, but thankfully I am out of time. Thank you very much for your patience. I’d be happy to answer – or possibly evade – your questions.

In Kategorie: Netz, Print

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Dirk von Gehlen ist Journalist, Autor, Vortragsredner. Er macht Neues bei der Süddeutschen Zeitung und schreibt einen monatlichen Newsletter zum digitalen Wandel, den man hier bestellen kann

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