VC journalism: An outsider’s view of news

By Steve Outing

One of my new favorite bloggers, Martin Langeveld, mentioned one of his favorite new bloggers, John Thornton and his Insomniactive, where the Texas venture capitalist spouts off smart opinion and analysis of the newspaper industry. Great stuff; add Insomniactive to your RSS reader if you care about newspapers.

I was wondering how Thornton’s blog could have escaped my radar, but it looks like he only started posting stuff on media and news topics in late December 2008. So I guess I can be forgiven.

Along with Alan Mutter’s Newsosaur blog, now you’ve got an excellent duo of bloggers documenting the financial side of the newspaper industry’s spiral downward. I think Thornton is clearly the most pessimistic, and seems to think that the newspaper industry is headed toward a future of non-profit journalism. Also:

“You see, the online news outlets of the future are shaping up to be -– and it grieves me to say this –- a bunch of grubby, cruddy, marginally profitable little businesses. …

“Can some of these things make a little money? Sure, why not? It’ll be sort of like a Mad Max movie, or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road -– after the nuclear holocaust, plenty of assorted post-armageddon, beady eyed-sole proprietors with shopping carts and automatic weapons will do just fine — cockroach-like, and speaking in the broadest of relative terms.”

OK, maybe that’s too stark and depressing for you. Don’t read Thornton. Keep your head in the sand. … I’ll be reading, and I hope he sticks with news and media topics for a while.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!