Thursday, June 5, 2008

If Not The Demise of Media, Maybe The Demise of Manners

I attended a forum yesterday at NYU's spanking new television studio on the future of media. The panelists were an all-star cast -- media reporters from Vanity Fair, Reuters, The New York Times, Newsweek, New York Post and TechCrunch -- but that didn't stop them from sniping at each other. This post on FishbowlNY captures the mood nicely.

After Murdoch, The Deluge

Michael Wolff doesn't think for a second that Rupert Murdoch expects the fall of print media in his lifetime. But if you don't want to take Rupe's word for it (your call), we have experts to evaluate this sort of thing. Journalists David Carr (New York Times), Keith Kelly (New York Post), Kenneth Li (Reuters), Johnnie Roberts (Newsweek), Erick Schonfeld (TechCrunch), and Michael Wolff (Vanity Fair) took shots at the print world, the online world, and of course, each other during an Internet Week panel discussion on the demise future of media. I Want Media's Patrick Phillips moderated the talk at NYU's Department of Journalism.

Schonfeld used the public platform to announce some "breaking news": the launch of TechCrunch's new video site for entrepreneurs called "Elevator Pitches," where the startups can present themselves for ratings.

Wolff didn't hesitate to profit from the event either, chatting up the November release of his Rupe biography. His comment on Murdoch's plans for the WSJ was, "Buy the book."

The journos took a good look at their "own obsolescence" (Wolff) and argued over their individual relevance. Wolff and Carr were particularly punchy, while Roberts tried to keep the peace and Kelly used the words "camcorder" and "blog" in the same sentence, waxing nostalgic about the penny press.

All in all, these guys didn't know much more about the future of the media than anyone else, making such groundbreaking observations as "newspapers need to reevaluate how they do news" (Kelly).

Read the top 10 scathing remarks after the jump...

Top 10 (Thank you, David Carr):
10. Wolff: "The NYT is getting its news off the Internet, too."
Carr: "That's a bunch of shit."

9. Schonfeld: "If I read something in the Times, I've already seen that story or nugget [online]."
Wolff: "It's certainly longer [in the Times]."
Carr: "I love that Michael makes a crack about length given how long his columns are. Every word of it a shining diamond."

8. Wolff to Roberts: "If Newsweek is still around in five years, I'll buy you dinner."

7. Carr, on Carr: "If I seem smug now, I was a lot more smug a year ago."

6. Carr, on the crash of traditional media: "It's like there's a piano above your head and the wire's been clipped."

5. Wolff, on "Essentially everything that NYT offers, I can offer, too. I can offer it more efficiently. And I can offer more."

4. Carr, to the "news aggregators": "You're a pilot fish." (read: parasite)

3. Carr, on transitioning to online media: "In the adapting matrix, I'm about where Fred Flintstone is."

2. Carr, after Roberts opines on walking into a newsroom with 100's of empty desks: "Have some sheet cake."

1. Wolff on the last "extraordinarily happy" person in media: "After [Rupert Murdoch], I suppose, the deluge."



Joe Incantalupo said...

Wow I would have liked to be covering that event! Seems as though they both beg to differ to say the least.

professor s said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
professor s said...

In truth, they agreed on more than they fought about. They agreed that no one knows where this is all going to end, or how journalists will get paid, or whether the Internet will do more harm or more good to journalism.