Friday, November 24, 2017

Adapting to digital

This is something that has always intrigued me. Newspaper websites, digital properties - almost always look the same - worldwide. TV sites and digital properties - ditto. Why?

The earlier method of printing news was limited by the newsprint and the ads. Now with space no longer an issue (atleast on websites) how is it that it is still organized by print needs? What can a newspaper website potentially look like in future? Today it looks somewhat like a newspaper that is mounted on a website.

What if news was organized in terms of current events, recent events and on events where a long form investigation is being done? Why not start with a map and people zoom into the location where they want news about? Why not a world map with users being to click at a country level to begin with? Why not share data and news separately (as in share long form data alongwith news as well). Why not allow users to scroll through a timeline? Or search about incidents - like terrorist incidents. Currently all these functionalities are quite primitive.

Why does TV still stick to the form of programming (half hour slots). Why cant it move to say, long form debates with proof? Not the form of crappy TV debates which we get to see - but long form debates where people get unlimited time to come up with arguments, rebut and tear them apart? Much short debates are pointless shouting matches. Why not run long form debates. Space is not a problem, time is not a problem. All it needs are good editors - and they can monetise the short content of their programs and the rest can be on the web.

Just two examples, but there are many others who are able to see this transition and work accordingly. The media industry is built around ads - and therefore are reluctant to try something else. Perhaps someone will come up with a different model. Websites like Inshorts come to min. Or the brilliant Brain Pickings. Both very different from traditional media - but my question is when will traditional media change their model?

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