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Earlier today at the Monaco Media Forum, there was a great debate about the future of news media. I would nominate it as the discussion and resulting video of the year; while the debate is religious in so many ways, in the end, the two high-profile execs being interviewed, Arianna Huffington and Mathias Dopfner, CEO of German media giant Axel Springer, really aren’t as divergent as the moderator, Christine Ockrent, CEO of the government-funded France 24 TV channel, was pitching it to be. Summarizing it would be tough, but it perfectly illustrates the tensions between traditional news media, and the news upstarts like HuffPo and amateur/citizen journalists in general. Some of my tweets from the session, and the full video embedded above:
— Mathias Dopfner, CEO, Axel Springer: I don’t share the cultural pessimism that media is dying. I think it is the opposite.
— Mathias Dopfner, CEO, Axel Springer: the only diff between us and HuffPo is we pay our contributors.
— Axel Springer CEO: Sports, games, regional, sex & crime. People will pay. Only web communists think otherwise.
— Axel Springer CEO: if we don’t pay our bloggers our profit margins will go up to 80%
— Ubiquity is the new exclusivity: Arianna.
— Our editors are continuously getting schooled in copyright: Arianna.
— Arianna about content behind pay walls: you cannot enter same river twice (Greek saying). Future is free content
— Axel Springer CEO: The crisis of media is the crisis of journalism. The current crop aren’t doing a great job.