Decline and recovery

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Facebook has done something incredible: after managing to raise US$16 billion in its 2012 IPO, selling 25 per cent of its shares, it has now succeeded to lose both its cool and its core salaried audience.

What used to be a good online place for girls to gossip and guys to stalk them has morphed into something else entirely. The cool kids are off somewhere else and Facebook is where old folk now go to check up what their grandchildren – or bridge partners – are up to.

Presently in the US, I have been struck by the vast number of online newspapers, all of which seem to share one writer and one editor between them. The same story appears endlessly and you have to look hard to find the common core source.

This is in complete contrast to the joyous strength of local papers here, which enjoyed a huge fillip when the Sage of Omaha (aka Warren Buffet) entered the market two years ago. His views are important to an industry which had thought it was dead on its feet and has now seen that, given the right nourishment, it can run. And jump.

We’re very keen on hyper-local here at Media Digest, available online and on mobile, and we have some digital properties in this space that we’re keen to exploit just as soon as market conditions permit.

I wonder if the wizards of Facebook are in a position to invest…

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“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”


Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.


(Source: POLIS)

 

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