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News about news

“News is small”: Benedict Evans on the media business

Analyst Benedict Evans has built a global following understanding and explaining how tech is transforming the world, and this week I had the opportunity to talk to him specifically about the business of news. I know Evans through his insightful and wide-ranging Benedict’s Newsletter, and in person he turns out to be intense, fast-talking and dismissive of news […]

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News about news

Tim Burrowes’ Media Unmade is definitive media history

I have just finished reading Tim Burrowes’ book “Media Unmade” and my head feels ready to explode. Burrowes is the founder of Australian media industry site Mumbrella, and he tells me that when he gets into something, he can become obsessed. He got into this book. It’s 432 pages long and covers the past decade of […]

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News about news

Microtransactions: The news idea that won’t die

It seems a very sensible idea: paying only for the news you read, article by article. At a few cents apiece, there is no cost barrier, and publishers are compensated by readers directly, in direct proportion to the popularity of content. This is the micropayment model. The idea has been around as long as the […]

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News about news

AstraZeneca, asteroids and numbers

I have struggled with the reporting of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine giving rise to blood clots. Not because I am wary of the vaccine. On the contrary, I’m conflicted because there’s a good argument that the blood clot risk should have not have been reported at all. There is a higher chance that the earth […]

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News about news

Understanding writers key to Substack success

Substack is supposedly worth $650m USD, about half the market cap of Air New Zealand.  How does a company with just 50 employees based on decades-old email newsletter technology become that hot? It’s all about who you work for. Substack works for writers. If you are not already a subscriber to the Crawford Media newsletter, […]

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News about news

World’s most popular streaming video services

I spent last weekend researching a piece for The Spinoff that advocates the establishment of a publicly funded national video streaming platform in New Zealand. The platform is pitched as an antidote to the global streaming wars. I have faith in Kiwis. I really believe they can do things other people can’t. The argument for “Platform NZ” […]

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News about news

Funding public interest journalism

Around the world, democracies are waking up to a market failure in news. We’ve been talking about it for more than a decade. Now things are starting to happen. Governments are becoming involved in financing public interest journalism. This will become one of the big picture developments in news, the kind of development that marks […]

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News about news

Neeva to give 20% of revenue to content partners

Last week I looked at paid search startup Neeva and the implications it might have for news. In the interview with CEO Sridhar Ramaswamy we touched on the search engine’s use of copyrighted content within the interface and the possibility Neeva would share some of its revenue with content creators. Now Neeva has formally announced it will be allotting […]

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News about news

Who got Public Interest News Gathering money?

In late 2020 the Australian government handed out over $53m in more than 100 grants as part of the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) programme. The overwhelming majority of the money (87%) went to the 10 biggest recipients. The funding distribution is pretty clear in the treemap above. For a more precise breakdown of the […]

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News about news

What paid search could mean for news

There’s a company in California, well-financed and growing, working busily on a business that at first glance is doomed. Neeva is a subscription search engine. They want you to pay $5-$10 USD a month to use a service that at the moment we treat like air. I spoke to co-founder CEO Sridhar Ramaswamy about his […]