Australian companies as trusted news sources?

7 07 2008

I just watched TV on a newspaper website. Sure, “convergence” is not a new thing but this was the first time I’d watched 10 minutes of newspaper content – more than a 40-second clip from Reuters through the SMH, not a quirky couple of minutes of an outing with a columnist. This was a real news story, a long feature about a Zimbabwean prison guard who’d smuggled a Guardian camera into the country’s rigged voting process.

Newspapers and TV stations are having to reinvent themselves. I saying “having to” but isn’t it a great opportunity, too? What new audience can the Guardian reach through new channels?

When I see this the question that always comes into my mind is why can’t a company, a business, do this? Why aren’t businesses really re-inventing themselves for this new world? Sure, many are bolting an RSS feed onto their media release page (but most aren’t even doing that), a few are dipping their toes into Facebook or putting a bit of information out on Twitter, but very few are completely immersing themselves.

Why couldn’t a company become a trusted source of news for customers? Yes, there would be some conflicts of interest but the media is owned by commercial interests and deals with those conflicts. 
 

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