Bill Wyman Speaks Truth to Power

Millions of words have been spilled over the past couple of years about what's wrong in the news business (many of them on this blog). But if you want to read a few thousand words that explain the state of play with superb clarity and brutal frankness, check out Bill Wyman's just-posted twopart series exploring why the news business is in the mess it's in today. It's thoughtful and probing and justly critical of the people who lead (and work in) news organizations.

Among many other things, Wyman explains well why many of the more simplistic proposed fixes (charging for content, anyone? Anyone?) just aren't as simple (or effective) as they appear. And it includes some smart recommendations for what newspapers need to be doing, pronto—though it's probably too late. (Hint: Go local.)

Along with Clay Shirky's sterling essay a couple months ago on the state of the news business, Wyman's opus is one of the most essential pieces of writing about the current maelstrom. Go check it out. 

PS: Maybe the notoriety surrounding the series' publication will end once and for all the hilarious confusion between Wyman—the longtime arts and music journalist—and the former Rolling Stone who bears the same name (though not from birth). (Sorry, Bill, I couldn't resist!)

One thought on “Bill Wyman Speaks Truth to Power

  1. I’m not saying this to be contrarian, but I really think charging for content is a good idea. The catch is that people won’t pay for wire content, or even for the same news the wires report. But people will pay for investigative, researched pieces and quality features. I may be wrong, but The Economist seems to be doing alright.

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